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08/02/2016: STATEMENT OF AMBASSADOR JOSE L. CUISIA, JR. ON THE FORMAL ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PHILIPPINE COMPETITION COMMISSION

The appointment of Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan as the first Chairperson of the newly-formed Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) is a significant milestone in efforts to increase the Philippines’ attractiveness for investment by ensuring efficient market competition. Members of the United States business community have long supported the enactment of a competition law in the Philippines.

The PCC was established under Republic Act No. 10667, otherwise known as the Philippine Competition Act, which President Benigno S. Aquino III signed into law on July 21, 2015. The quasi-judicial body will ensure efficient market competition by providing a level-playing field among businesses and commercial operators.

The four members of the PCC, namely, Stella Alabastro-Quimbo, an economics professor at the University of the Philippines; Johannes Bernabe, a lawyer and former trade negotiator; Elcid Butuyan, a lawyer with the World Bank; and Menardo Guevarra, Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs at the Office of the President, bring a diverse mix of expertise and experience to the Commission.

Secretary Balisacan’s statement that “promoting fair and healthy competition among firms is a major factor in ensuring that the benefits of economic growth are properly shared” offers a clear insight into both the opportunities and challenges that the establishment of the PCC brings to the Philippine economy.

The enactment of the Philippine Competition Law, which was supported by USAID technical assistance through its Trade-Related Assistance for Development project under the Partnership for Growth, is also an important manifestation of the robust bilateral economic relationship of the Philippines and the United States. ###