Bill aimed at eradicating unfair business practices pushed

MANILA, March 14 (PNA) – Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV on Friday pushed for the passage of a strong competition policy bill that will eradicate monopoly, cartels and unfair business practices.

“A strong competition policy will stop cartel and monopolies that lead to high prices and less quality goods to our countrymen,” Aquino, chairman of the Senate committee on trade, commerce and entrepreneurship, said.

During the committee hearing, Aquino revealed that the Philippines is one of few countries that do not have a valid competition policy.

In the past 15 years, Congress tackled several competition bills but lawmakers failed to find common ground on key provisions, hampering their passage into law.

This time, Aquino said he is determined to pass a strong competition bill under his watch as committee chairman to help the government’s push for inclusive growth.

“We need to make sure it is passed to make sure that we provide a level playing field for all businesses,” Aquino said.

“If we’re talking about inclusive growth, we need a competition policy to make sure that entrepreneurs and small businesses have the capability to compete against big businesses,” he added.

With a level playing field for all businesses, Aquino said the fight against poverty would be easier.

“I’m hoping this competition policy, if passed, can support our micro, small and medium enterprises, let them grow into larger enterprises and be able to provide more jobs to our countrymen,” Aquino emphasized.

Aside from creating a level playing field, the competition policy also prevents abuse of dominant position by big companies over small competitors.

However, Aquino allayed fears that big businesses with high market share will be affected by the competition policy.

“This is not against companies that have high market shares. It’s against companies with high market shares who are using that position to abuse their powers or abuse smaller players in the market,” he explained. (PNA)