THE Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) said on Tuesday that it signed an agreement with the regulator overseeing government companies to promote competitive behavior in the latter’s activities, especially in mergers and acquisitions.

The PCC and the Governance Commission for Government-Owned and -Controlled Corporations (GCG) signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) recently to formalize consultations with regard to government companies’ impact on competition in their industries.

Government companies overseen by the GCG are known as GOCCs.

The deal was signed to encourage coordination in ensuring “compliance with applicable competition laws and principles,” the PCC said in a statement.

GCG Chairperson Alex L. Quiroz said: “We are entering this partnership with the Philippine Competition Commission to promote competitive neutrality across the GOCC Sector.”

Under the deal, the PCC will provide assessments of the market impact of mergers or acquisitions involving GOCCs.

“The MoA facilitates consultations between the two agencies in implementing policies of mutual interest and coordination on merger review involving GOCCs,” the PCC said.

The GCG and PCC also agreed to conduct capacity-building activities and support the rollout of the National Competition Policy.

“The underlying principle of competitive neutrality is fairness. It means state-owned enterprises and private businesses compete and operate on a level playing field while recognizing GOCCs’ critical roles and interventions across sectors,” PCC Officer-in-Charge Johannes Benjamin R. Bernabe said.

The two parties also aim to collaborate on reviewing competition regulations and guidelines to “ensure that there is consistency adhering to both the National Competition Policy as well as the principle of competitive neutrality,” the PCC said. — Arjay L. Balinbin