THE Philippine Competition Commission and the Department of Trade and Industry signed on Friday a memorandum of agreement (MoA) aimed at facilitating data-sharing between the two agencies and ensuring fair competition among the industries on their watch.
“We really have to work together as we watch the industry structure, as well as industry development,” Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said in a press briefing on Friday, adding that “we want to be assured that there is a good number of players, companies because it is competition that will assure competitive prices and benefit consumers.”
The MoA recommended coordination schemes on areas which may fall within the jurisdiction of one of the agencies, as well as investigation and enforcement support.
The MoA allows for easier transfer of data, except in cases where information was provided by private stakeholders and strictly meant for the DTI.
PCC Commissioner Johannes Benjamin R. Bernabe said private stakeholders will be given the option to waive its confidentiality terms to accommodate the PCC.
However, if stakeholders decline to share the needed data, the PCC can take legal steps to obtain the data.
“If they don’t waive, remember, under the Philippine Competition Act, the PCC has the power to subpoena documents,” Mr. Bernabe told reporters on Friday.
Competition Chair Arsenio M. Balisacan said the MoA will be a “game-changer” in fast-tracking their review of sectors and investigation of cases where competition concerns may arise. — Janina C. Lim