The DOJ-Office for Competition (OFC) held a two-day capacity building seminar entitled "The Philippines' Competition Legal Framework and Institutional Set-up" last September 24-25, 2013 at the Century Park Hotel in Manila, attended by representatives from 20 institutions, including 16 sector regulators and other partners.
International competition expert Avv. Andrea Filippo Gagliardi, the TRTA 3 Key Expert for Competition Policy, shared his insights on the implications of the OFC's mandate in the enforcement of mainstream competition rules over the existing legislative framework and institutional set-up. He discussed, among others, the rationale for competition, the nature and effect of anti-competitive practices, and the main areas where alignment with international best practices is needed such as the comprehensive competition law and sanctions for violations.
Assistant Secretary Geronimo L. Sy, head of the OFC, encouraged the participants to apply the insights gained from the seminar to the drafting of the competition law of the Philippines.
DTI Director Lydia R. Guevarra, the TRTA 3 Programme Director, presented the background and targeted outputs of the project.
The OFC staff shared their experiences in the conduct of sector studies, competition reforms in customs, immigration, and quarantine (CIQ) charges, establishment of a Competition Policy and Law course as well as the country's initiatives as current Chair of the ASEAN Experts Group on Competition (AEGC).
"Advancing economic justice for all requires knowledge of international best practices in addressing anti-competitive conduct. The Office for Competition shall continue to strengthen its institutional capacity to continue delivering competition reforms that benefit our people and promote inclusive growth such as its successful advocacy in reforming the CIQ charges and the drafting of a comprehensive competition law," said Secretary Leila M. De Lima.
The seminar is part of the Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA) Project 3, a joint undertaking of the European Union with the Philippine Government, which aims to support the country's integration into the international and regional trading and investment system, through an approach that encompasses policy and legislative reforms, procedural and technical improvements, as well as capacity development.
As a follow-up to the TRTA 3 activity, a seminar on governance framework for the effective enforcement of competition policy and law will be held next. The OFC will also publish a paper on the country's competition legal framework and institutional set-up.