Anti trust body may ease rules

June 08, 2018 News

The Philippine Competition Commission is eyeing to ease some of its rules, more particularly about the rules on forbearance.

During the Competition Forum of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and European Union-Philippines Business Network on Wednesday, PCC Chairman Arsenio Balisacan said the rules on forbearance is one of the critical components of the Philippine Competition Act (PCA) enforcement framework.

“Under this practice, the Commission may forbear from applying the provisions of the PCA, for a limited time, on an entity or group of entities, determined by the Commission to have met stringent and specific conditions,” Balisacan said.

Certain requirements that would allow the PCC not to enforce the provisions of the law if the enforcement is not necessary to attain the PCA’s policy objectives, not impeding competition in the market, and the forbearance is consistent with public interest and consumer welfare.

“Based on certain regulations, the regulator might want not to enforce the law because the recognition is, sometimes some sectors, some groups will suffer from overregulation,” PCC Legal Office Directo Gian Camacho said on the sidelines of the forum.

Camacho added that too much requirements could ruin the competition in the market.

“Sometimes the agency can decide, as part of its regulatory prerogative, to step back and let the natural market forces to work,” he said in Filipino.

Aside from forbearance, the Commission draft rules and guidelines under the PCA enforcement framework on leniency program and inspection order.

“The leniency program will allow the Commission to grant to an entity immunity from suit or reduction of fine which would otherwise be imposed on a participant in anti-competitive agreements in exchange for the voluntary disclosure of information,” Balisacan said.

The PCC targets to finish the draft guidelines on leniency program by April to boost its capability in combating cartels. (PNA)