The country recently concluded its Voluntary Peer Review process undertaken by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCfAD) during the 14th Session of the International Experts Group (IGE) on Competition Policy and Law (CPL)on 8-10 July 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland.
"This is an opportunity for us to highlight our strengths in the field of competition policy and law enforcement and, at the same time, learn from the experiences of other competition authorities," said Secretary Leila M. De Lima.
The peer review process was conducted in several stages which commenced in 2012. Consultants from UNCTAD visited the Philippines to assess the state of CPL implementation through consultations and interviews with sector regulators, the business sector, congressional partners, the Officefor Competition (OFC)and other key stakeholders.
A panel of international competition experts was constituted for the presentation of the Peer Review Report and panel examination through a series of questions from the panelists and other participating countries on 9 July 2014. The panel of experts was composed of the United States as Chair and top level officialsfrom Germany, Indonesia and Japan.
Based on the results of the peer review examination, the UNCTAD came up with a technical assistance program that is tailored to the specific needs of the Philippines and to be implemented by the OFC.
"We are quite pleased with the results. We were able to provide clarifications on some of the misconceptions about our country's competition regime," said Assistant Secretary and Head of OFC Geronimo L. Sy. "We are also happy that the country's merger control regime was established just in time for us to report it during the meeting," he added.
The Philippine delegation was composed of Assistant Secretary Sy (head of delegation), Chairperson Teresita J. Herbosa of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and President Gilbert M. Llanto of Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS). The delegation participated in the Ad Hoc Meeting on Consumer Protection as well as the 5th Meeting of the Regional Research Platform on July 7 and July 11, respectively. In attendance were around 100 UN member states, Philippines included, and international organizations.
The delegation had the occasion to meet with the UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Petko Draganov who expressed support to the OFC's future undertakings, and H.E. Ambassador Cecilia B. Rebong of the Philippine Mission in Geneva that hosted a dinner for the delegates and panelists.
The full report on the voluntary peer review process of the Philippines prepared by the UNCTAD Secretariat may be downloaded from this link: