Competition Authority of the Philippines


An executive order was issued by President Benigno Aquino III to create an anti-monopoly agency called the Competition Authority to be headed by the secretary of the Department of Justice.  Its goal is to promote competition in the industry and break up monopolies and cartels. “There is a need to promote competition and level the playing field in the market,” the president said.

Under  Executive Order (EO) No. 45, the Competition Authority will investigate cases involving violations of competition laws and the prosecution of violators “to prevent, restrain and punish monopolisation, cartels and combinations in restraint of trade.”
 
It will also enforce competition policies and laws to protect consumers from abusive, fraudulent or harmful corrupt business practices; supervise competition in markets through the strict enforcement of competition laws; and monitor and implement measures to promote transparency and accountability in markets.
 
Supporting the order is Section 20 of Article II of the 1987 Constitution provides that the State “recognises the indispensable role of the private sector, encourages private enterprise and provides incentives to needed investments.”
 
Sections 13 and 19 of Article XII of the 1987 Constitution also provide that “the State shall pursue a trade policy that serves the general welfare and utilises all forms and arrangements of exchange on the basis of equality and reciprocity and shall regulate or prohibit monopolies when the public interest so requires.”
 
Republic Act No. 4152, which was passed in 1964, vested upon the Justice secretary the duty “to study all laws relating to trusts, monopolies and combinations, to draft such legislation as may be necessary to update or revise existing laws to enable the government to deal more effectively with monopolistic practices and all forms of trusts and combination in restraint of trade or free competition and/or tending to bring about non-competitive prices of articles of prime necessity.”
 
This means that Justice Secretary Leila de Lima will become the head of the Competition Authority with the task of preventing monopolies and cartels as well as protecting consumers from abusive business practices.