Duterte issues order on implementation of National Competition Policy

President Duterte has signed an administrative order (AO) directing the adoption and implementation of the National Competition Policy (NCP), Malacañang reporters learned on Wednesday night, Oct. 20.

(From right) President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Christopher "Bong" Go (Photo from PCOO Facebook)

Signed earlier that day by the Chief Executive, AO No.44 notes that Republic Act No. (RA) 10667 or the "Philippine Competition Act" provides that the state shall establish an NCP be implemented by the national government and all of its political agencies.

The law mandates the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) to assist the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), in consultation with relevant government agencies and sectors, to prepare and formulate and implement a NCP.

According to the AO, the NEDA and PCC issued the NCP through NEDA-PCC Joint Memorandum Circular No. 01-2020 (s. 2020) on July 30, 2020.

"The National Competition Policy is in accordance with the strategic outcomes envisioned under the updated Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022, to create an enabling and supportive economic environment with a strong and credible competition policy that will level the playing field and encourage more investments," the two-page document read.

It also said that the "adverse effects of the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic to the economy require swift and strong government actions to maintain market efficiency and stimulate economic recovery".

“An effective National Competition Policy is key in ensuring that government responses and interventions follow competition principles in order to address the market failures and distortions that may arise from the COVID-19 crisis,” it further read.

Under AO 44, all national government agencies (NGAs), including departments, bureaus, offices, and instrumentalities, government-owned or –controlled corporations (GOCCs), as well as local government units (LGU), are directed to adopt and implement, in accordance with their respective mandates, the NCP and its key elements as contained in NEDA-PCC Joint Memorandum Circular No. 01-2020 (s. 2020).

"All government policies, rules, regulations, and interventions shall support the objectives of the NCP and foster a culture of competition," it said.

The Inter-Agency Task Force under AO No. 25 (s. 2011) on the Harmonization of National Government Performance Monitoring, Information and Reporting Systems, in coordination with the Civil Service Commission and the Career Executive Service Board, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), as chairperson of the Council of Good Local Governance under RA No. 11292 or “The Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) Act of 2019” are directed to integrate, as far as practicable, the adoption of and compliance with the NCP and its key elements as part of the good governance conditions criteria for the grant of Performance-Based Bonus (PBB) to government personnel, and the conferment of the SGLG on LGUs, respectively.

The AO No. 25 Task Force and the DILG shall prescribe the corresponding conditions for eligibility for said benefits.