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Balisacan to head competition agency

/ 12:53 AM January 26, 2016

Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan will wear a new hat after the end of this month, this time to chair the newly established Philippine Competition Commission.

In a statement Monday, Balisacan, who is also director general of state planning agency National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), finally confirmed reports that he would resign as the country’s chief economist effective Jan. 31 to become the first chair of the PCC.

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The commission was formed under Republic Act No. 10667 or the Philippine Competition Act, which President Aquino signed into law in July last year.

The Philippine Competition Act was aimed at ensuring fair competition in the business sector. It put in place administrative fines as well as criminal penalties for prohibited anti-competitive agreements, mergers or acquisitions that substantially restrict competition, and abuse of dominant position.

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Neda explained that the PCC “is a quasi-judicial body that will enforce and implement the provisions of the Philippine Competition Act, including its implementing rules and regulations.”

The PCC would ensure an efficient market competition in providing a level-playing field among businesses engaged in trade, industry and all commercial economic activities, Neda added.

Also, the PCC “aims to protect consumer welfare and advance both domestic, and international trade and economic development” as well as “conduct inquiries, investigate and penalize all forms of anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant position and anti-competitive mergers and acquisitions.”

As chair, Balisacan will have a seven-year term, without reappointment.

“We would want to address the problem of having a growing economy but with the benefits of such growth only for a small sector. Promoting fair and healthy competition among firms is a major factor in ensuring that the benefits of growth are properly shared,” he added.

With Balisacan’s appointment, Deputy Director General Emmanuel F. Esguerra will serve as Neda’s officer-in-charge. Ben O. de Vera

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TAGS: Arsenio M. Balisacan, Business, Philippine Competition Commission
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