President Benigno S. Aquino III on Tuesday assured the business community that the Philippines is open for business and that...
President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared December 5 of every year as “National Competition Day,” to underscore the need to promote competition and level the playing field in the market.
The Chief Executive issued the directive by virtue of Proclamation No. 384 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on May 18.
“Sections 13 and 19, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution provide that the State shall pursue a trade policy that serves the general welfare and utilizes all forms and arrangements of exchange on the basis of equality and reciprocity and shall regulate or prohibit monopolies when the public interest so requires,” President Aquino said.
The President said Executive Order No. 45 (series 2011) has created the Office for Competition under the Office of the Secretary of Justice. The EO, likewise, designated the Department of Justice (DOJ) as the country’s “Competition Authority” to ensure fair domestic trade.
Under EO No. 45, the DOJ is tasked to investigate all cases involving violations of competition laws and prosecute violators to prevent, restrain, and punish monopolization, cartels, and combinations in restraint of trade. The EO, likewise, ordered the DOJ to enforce competition policies and laws to protect consumers from abusive, fraudulent, or harmful corrupt business practices; and supervise competition in markets by ensuring that prohibitions and requirements of competition laws are followed.
The EO further directs the DOJ to monitor and implement measures to promote transparency and accountability in markets; as well as prepare, publish, and disseminate studies and reports on competition to inform and guide the industry and consumers. The DOJ is also tasked to promote international cooperation and strengthen Philippine trade relations with other countries, economies, and institutions in trade agreements.
“In carrying out the mandate provided under EO 45, the Office for Competition had the occasion to observe from its foreign counterpart, particularly the Association of South East Asian Nations Region, the benefits of competitive markets and the harmful effects of anti-competitive practices to the citizens,” the President noted.
“As part of a global family implementing competition policy and law, we join our colleagues in the global competition network in the observance of “World Competition Day” on the 5th day of December of every year,” he said.