By Janina C. Lim
THE Philippine Competition Commission has sought the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) coordination in gathering information as part of the anti-trust body’s regular review of the competition environment among various sectors.
The draft memorandum of agreement which Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez sent to reporters on Monday showed that suggested coordination schemes will include notification of matters which may fall within the jurisdiction of another agency, a well as investigation and enforcement support.
“Upon receipt of a request for assistance by one Party, and subject to resource and other operational considerations, and to such limitations as their respective legal mandates may provide, the other Party shall provide investigation and enforcement support to the requesting Party on matters relating to the PCA and other competition laws,” read the draft memorandum of agreement (MoA).
Competition Chair Arsenio M. Balisacan said the MoA will be signed with the DTI two weeks from now.
Mr. Balisacan said the MoA will also allow easier transfer of data from one agency to another, except where information is confidential or subject to data privacy laws.
“What I learned from other competition jurisdictions, particularly with high rate of convictions or successful cases, they have to work closely with the regulators and other agencies. They have to jointly coordinate their acts,” Mr. Balisacan told reporters last week in Makati City.
“If we go separate ways, it will not take us anywhere. My view as an economist, the effects of what we do in terms of consumer welfare, efficiency of industries and markets would be greater if other agencies and other policies are also in support of what we do and vice versa…. Trade, investment, interest policies should be synchronized. Combined effects is much great,” he added.
The MoA will also allow the formation of joint task forces, capacity-building efforts, and consultative meetings where such may be deemed.