The Department of Justice (DOJ) today, in a letter addressed to Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno, recommended the establishment of anti-trust courts to address cartels and competition-related cases.
“This will begin the urgent task of enforcing the competition laws in line with the President’s call for a level playing field,” said Secretary Leila M. de Lima.
Designated as the country’s first competition authority, the DOJ though its specialized unit – the Office for Competition (OFC) has been working on cutting red tape, simplifying regulations, investigating complaints and advocating for economic justice since it started operations in 2011 by virtue of Executive Order No 45.
In a recent roundtable discussion jointly organized with the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA), it was recognized that justices and judges need expert training on the handling of anti-trust cases.
“The proposal is for at least five (5) competition courts at the Regional Trial Court level and two (2) specialized divisions in the Court of Appeals to handle competition cases,” added Secretary De Lima.
The Philippines is expected to chair the ASEAN Experts Group on Competition in 2013. The DOJ-OFC is undertaking consultations with sector regulators for implementing rules and guidelines.