Congress Ratifies Act Penalizing Cartels, Abuse of Dominant Positions

After three decades of waiting and 30 hours of bicameral conference hearing, Congress has finally ratified the Philippine Competition Act that penalizes bad market behavior and abuse of dominant positions.

“Historic, game-changing for our economy,” Sen. Bam Aquino, chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, said after the ratification of the Philippine Competition Act.

Sen. Aquino said the Philippine Competition Act is expected to eliminate cartels, and penalize anti-competitive agreements and abuses of dominant players in the markets that lead to high prices of goods and services.

“If enacted into law, the measure will create a level playing field, whether big or small, when it comes to market opportunities,” the senator said.

The measure will also prohibit anti-competitive agreements and abuses of dominant position that distort, manipulate, or constrict the operations of markets in the Philippines.
President Aquino is expected to sign the measure into law as it is one of his administration’s urgent measures.

Sen. Aquino said the measure has been one of the longest running bills in our history as the first competition policy was filed in the 8th Congress.

For almost thirty years, the Philippines remains one of few countries that do not have a valid competition policy that will protect its consumers and private industries.

After World War II, Japan passed its Original Anti-monopoly Law in 1947 while the United Kingdom passed its Monopolies and Restrictive Practices Act in 1948.

Other ASEAN countries have also passed their respective competition laws, starting with Indonesia and Thailand in 1999, Singapore in 2004, Vietnam in 2005, and Malaysia in 2012.

“This is primary a huge victory for millions of consumers, who, in the end, will be the ultimate beneficiaries of this measure,” added Sen. Aquino, whose Senate Bill No. 1027 or the Philippine Competition Act was among the measures consolidated under Senate Bill No. 2282.

“In addition, the Philippine Competition Act promotes a culture of healthy competition that inspires ingenuity, creativity, and innovation in addressing market needs,” Sen. Bam said.

“We need more players in our markets, so that the quality of products and services increases, and prices of goods would then go down,” Sen. Bam added.#