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Senator Gatchalian challenges big business to embrace competitive business practices

Senator Win Gatchalian shares his thoughts during the first hearing of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship recently. Gatchalian said strengthening and safeguarding the country’s economic backbone, composed of micro-small-medium enterprises (MSMEs) through the Philippine Competition Act will create equitable development across all sectors. (Photo by Mark Cayabyab)

Senator Win Gatchalian challenged corporate heavyweights of the Philippine market to respect and comply with the robust anti-trust measures of the Philippine Competition Act, explaining that building a free and competitive Philippine business environment would be critical to sustaining innovation and equitable economic growth across all sectors, particularly among micro-small-medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“The elite firms of our economy should take the lead in fostering a new era of competition and fair play in the market. This means that Big Business should respect the authority of the Philippine Competition Commission,” said Gatchalian, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs.

Gatchalian said that the full implementation of Philippine Competition Act (Republic Act No. 10667), which created the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) in 2015, would help protect consumers from economic sabotage and anti-competitive behavior by big firms with the capacity to corner certain sectors of the market.

As such, Gatchalian urged powerful market players to go beyond pro forma compliance with the directives of PCC in order to build consumer confidence and improve the fundamentals of our developing economy.

In particular, Gatchalian urged Globe and PLDT, the two prominent players currently engaged in a heated legal dispute with PCC over the latter’s power to review the former’s P69.1 billion telcomm buyout deal, to submit to PCC’s jurisdiction.

As the first big test of the Commission’s powers since its creation, Gatchalian said it would be important for PCC to send a strong message as the public’s guardian against monopolies and unfair restraints of trade. 

“Globe and PLDT should cooperate fully with PCC’s review of their buyout deal. If this is truly a clean deal beneficial to both the investors and the general public as a whole, then there should be nothing to hide. I am confident that all parties to the dispute will be willing to work together for the common good,” said Gatchalian.