27 May 2020

PCC pushes program for ‘competition agenda’ in House


The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) continues to push the competition agenda in Congress, this time through a program meant to train legislative staff of the House of Representatives on competition law and policy.

In partnership with the Office of Rep. Stella Quimbo, the PCC is conducting its online Capacity Improvement on Competition Advocacy for Legislative Staff (CICALS) on 28 May 2020.

CICALS is a series of capacity building and advocacy seminars for the legislative branch with the aim of mainstreaming competition in economic legislation. After the successful Senate leg last year, the program comes to the House as a webinar to reach a wider audience amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Capacitating legislative staff with sound competition principles will ensure economic bills are imbued with pro-competitive safeguards when passed into law. It is part of PCC’s broader aim to engender a culture of competition in the whole of government,” PCC Chairperson Arsenio Balisacan said.

PCC Chairperson Balisacan, along with Commissioners Johannes Bernabe, Amabelle Asuncion and Macario De Claro, Jr., Rep. Quimbo, and Dr. Graciela Murciego from the World Bank Group will serve as speakers. In a show of support, Rep. Sharon Garin (Committee on Economic Affairs Chairperson) and Rep. Weslie Gatchalian (Committee on Trade and Industry Chairperson) will also take part in the event.

PCC’s webinar will discuss the fundamentals of competition law and policy, competition issues in government interventions, competition and its interplay with legislation, and competition issues and the role of competition authorities amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The PCC, through its Legislative Liaison Office, has been providing technical inputs on the competitive effects of various bills affecting trade, industry and commerce. More recently, it has advocated for pro-competitive measures in support of the proposed Philippine Economic Stimulus Act (PESA).

For 2020, the PCC will continue to push for its legislative agenda across its seven priority sectors: telecommunications, energy, retail, construction, transportation, food, and health. It also recognizes the need to apply the competition lens in the government’s relief and recovery efforts amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Proactive competition advocacy in legislation is especially potent in improving the present and future landscape faced by businesses and consumers. Mainstreaming competition principles has become more urgent in a COVID-19-disrupted world, where the economy’s swift recovery matters more than ever,” said Balisacan.