7 February 2024
PCC holds workshop to equip gov’t lawyers in upholding competition principles
Center: PCC Commissioner Lolibeth Ramit-Medrano, PCC Commissioner Marah Victoria S. Querol, Associate Justice Maria Filomena D. Singh, PCC Commissioner Ferdinand M. Negre, and PCC Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo attend the orientation on the Code of Professional Responsibility and Accountability (CPRA) in Quezon City in December 2023.
The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has organized an orientation on the newly revised Code of Professional Responsibility and Accountability (CPRA) and the National Competition Policy (NCP) to emphasize the importance of upholding competition principles in the practice of law among government counsels.
Addressing government lawyers who attended the orientation, Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo underscored the significance of market competition in driving economic growth and enhancing consumer welfare.
“By requiring government entities to imbibe competitive principles in the pursuit of their respective mandates, we move a step closer to ensuring that every Filipino reaps the benefits of competition,” he said.
The PCC is a quasi-judicial government agency mandated to promote fair market competition by guarding against anti-competitive agreements, abuse of market dominance, and anti-competitive mergers and acquisitions.
During the orientation on the CPRA, resource persons from the PCC introduced the NCP to participant-lawyers from different government agencies. The NCP mandates state entities to integrate competition principles into their existing and prospective issuances and regulations.
The PCC also discussed its competition impact assessment (CIA) tool, which allows regulators to evaluate the impact of their policies and actions on market competition, such as impediments to trade, potential anti-competitive behavior, and limitations on consumers’ right to information and choice.
Full implementation of the NCP is among the cross-cutting strategies included in the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028.
Associate Justice Maria Filomena D. Singh gives an overview of the Code of Professional Responsibility and Accountability (CPRA) to government lawyers during an orientation conducted by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) in Quezon City in December 2023.
In the same training session, Associate Justice Maria Filomena D. Singh provided an insightful overview of the CPRA and ignited the commitment of the participant-lawyers to “start the right way”.
“We want to raise, not just the standard of lawyering, but also the perception of the public about lawyers,” she said. “That lawyering is not dirty. It doesn’t involve dishonest people. That there are professionals out there – that’s us – who still practice law ethically.”
Attending lawyers to the orientation took the new lawyer’s oath led by Justice Singh.
Launched in April, the updated CPRA provides guidance for legal practitioners, including provisions addressing responsible use of social media and a renewed commitment to upholding the rule of law by promoting values like truth, justice, freedom, and equality.
Singh said the Supreme Court held a nationwide caravan and series of consultations to gather feedback on the new guide for lawyers’ conduct from legal professionals, the academe, law students, and civil service organizations.
The orientation was held in December in Quezon City, and brought together representatives from the Commission on Audit (COA), the Departments of Agriculture (DA), Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) and the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM).
PCC Public Affairs and Research Division