Expert underscores importance of fair market competition

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Competition in all development sectors in the country can lead to economic growth and reduced poverty because it helps markets work better, fosters innovation, and protects investors and consumers.

This, in a nutshell, was the lecture delivered by Dr. Arsenio Balisacan, chairperson of the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) before a crowd of students and university employees in a forum held August 25 at the MMSU Function Hall.

Citing the reasons why market competition is important, Dr. Balisacan said that if it is done in the context of fair play, competition helps encourage wider domestic and foreign direct investments and provides an improved enabling environment for small and medium enterprises that are critical to more inclusive economic growth and development in the country.

This, he said, will make consumers win because free and fair competition leads to more choices, lower prices, and higher quality of goods.

“That is why we have this newly-formed PCC so that it will serve as a regulatory body that helps protect markets in the Philippines from anti-competitive behaviour, thereby protecting consumers from having their choices unfairly limited by companies that seek to severely limit these choices in order to increase profits,” he said.

In his lecture that revolved on the topic, The Philippine Competition Landscape, the PCC chair enumerated the reasons why building a culture of competition is the key to local and national development. He assured that the effective protection of competition in the market will also protect small and medium businesses which seek to offer better quality of lower priced goods and services by ensuring that dominant players do not engage in practices that unfairly takes advantage of their market share.

“That’s why a stable and fair playing field is expected to result in greater interest among foreign investors, which in turn would lead to an expansion of the market, and opening global opportunities for companies in the Philippines, whether these companies are big or small,” he said.

Meanwhile, the PCC, which was signed into law on July 21, 2015 as Philippine Competition Act (Republic Act No. 10667), is a quasi-judicial agency intended to ensure efficient and fair market competition among businesses engaged in trade, industry, and all commercial economic activities. It prohibits anti-competitive agreements, abuses of dominant positions, and mergers and acquisitions that limit, prevent, and restrict competition.

It is expected to improve consumer protection and help accelerate investment and job creation, consistent with the goal of the national government in fostering an inclusive form of economic growth. (By REA)

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