Philippine Competition Commission
Section 5. Philippine Competition Commission
This law creates the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) in order to:
- implement the national competition policy
- attain the objectives of this Act
It will be:
- an independent quasi-judicial body
- organized within 60 days after the effectivity of this Act.
Executive Order No. 45 designates the Department of Justice as the Competition Authority.
- Upon establishment of the Commission, such Order is hereby amended.
- However, the Office for Competition (OFC) under the Office of the Secretary of Justice shall be retained.
- Its powers and functions will be modified pursuant to Section 13.
The Commission shall be an attached agency to the Office of the President.
Section 6. Composition of the Commission
The Commission shall be composed of a Chairperson and 4 Commissioners who:
- are citizens and residents of the Philippines
- are of good moral character
- are of recognized probity and independence
- must have distinguished themselves professionally in public, civic or academic service in any of the following fields:
- commerce or engineering.
- must have been in the active practice of their professions for at least 10 years
- must not have been candidates for any elective national or local office in the immediately preceding elections as long as at least1 shall be a member of the Philippine Bar with at least 10 years of experience in the active practice of law, and at least one (1) shall be an economist.
The Chairperson and the Commissioners who shall have the rank equivalent of cabinet secretary and undersecretary, respectively, shall be appointed by the President.
Section 7. Term of Office
The Chairperson and the Commissioners shall serve for 7 years without reappointment.
Of the first set of appointees, the Chairperson shall hold office for seven (7) years and of the first four (4) Commissioners, two (2) shall hold office for a term of seven (7) years and two (2) for a term of five (5) years. In case a vacancy occurs before the expiration of the term of office, the appointment to such vacancy shall only be for the unexpired term of the predecessor.
The Chairperson and the Commissioners shall enjoy security of tenure and shall not be suspended or removed from office except for just cause as provided by law.
Section 8. Prohibitions and Disqualifications
The Commissioners shall not, during their tenure, hold any other office or employment. They shall not, during their tenure, directly or indirectly practice any profession, except in a teaching capacity, participate in any business, or be financially interested in any contract with, or any franchise, or special privileges granted by the government or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned and -controlled corporations or their subsidiaries. They shall strictly avoid conflict of interest in the conduct of their office. They shall not be qualified to run for any office in the election immediately succeeding their cessation from office: Provided, That the election mentioned hereof is not a Barangay election or a Sangguniang Kabataan election. Provided, they shall not be allowed to personally appear or practice as counsel or agent on any matter pending before the Commission for two (2) years following their cessation from office.
No spouse or relative by consanguinity or affinity within the fourth civil degree of any of the Commissioners, the Chairperson and the Executive Director of the Commission may appear as counsel nor agent on any matter pending before the Commission or transact business directly or indirectly therein during incumbency and within two (2) years from cessation of office.
Section 9. Compensation and Other Emoluments for Members and Personnel of the Commission
The compensation and other emoluments for the members and personnel of the Commission shall be exempted from the coverage of Republic Act No. 6758, otherwise known as the “Salary Standardization Act”. For this purpose, the salaries and other emoluments of the Chairperson, the Commissioners, and personnel of the Commission shall be set based on an objective classification system, taking into consideration the importance and responsibilities attached to the respective positions, and shall be submitted to the President of the Philippines for his approval.
Section 10. Quorum
3 members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum and the affirmative vote of three (3) members shall be necessary for the adoption of any rule, ruling, order, resolution, decision or other acts of the Commission.
Section 11. Staff
The Commission shall appoint, fix the compensation, and determine the status, qualifications, and duties of an adequate staff, which shall include an Executive Director of the Commission. The Executive Director shall be appointed by the Commission and shall have relevant experience in any of the fields of law, economics, commerce, management, finance or engineering for at least ten (10) years. The members of the technical staff, except those performing purely clerical functions, shall possess at least a Bachelor’s Degree in any of the following lines of specialization: economics, law, finance, commerce, engineering, accounting, or management.
Section 12. Powers and Functions
The Commission shall have original and primary jurisdiction over the enforcement and implementation of the provisions of this Act, and its implementing rules and regulations. The Commission shall exercise the following powers and functions:
(a) Conduct inquiry, investigate, and hear and decide on cases involving any violation of this Act and other existing competition laws motu proprio or upon receipt of a verified complaint from an interested party or upon referral by the concerned regulatory agency, and institute the appropriate civil or criminal proceedings;
(b) Review proposed mergers and acquisitions, determine thresholds for notification, determine the requirements and procedures for notification, and upon exercise of its powers to review, prohibit mergers and acquisitions that will substantially prevent, restrict, or lessen competition in the relevant market;
(c) Monitor and undertake consultation with stakeholders and affected agencies for the purpose of understanding market behavior;
(d) Upon finding, based on substantial evidence, that an entity has entered into an anti-competitive agreement or has abused its dominant position after due notice and hearing, stop or redress the same, by applying remedies, such as, but not limited to, issuance of injunctions, requirement of divestment, and disgorgement of excess profits under such reasonable parameters that shall be prescribed by the rules and regulations implementing this Act;
(e) Conduct administrative proceedings, impose sanctions, fines or penalties for any noncompliance with or breach of this Act and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR) and punish for contempt;
(f) Issue subpoena duces tecum and subpoena ad testificandum to require the production of books, records, or other documents or data which relate to any matter relevant to the investigation and personal appearance before the Commission, summon witnesses, administer oaths, and issue interim orders such as show cause orders and cease and desist orders after due notice and hearing in accordance with the rules and regulations implementing this Act;
(g) Upon order of the court, undertake inspections of business premises and other offices, land and vehicles, as used by the entity, where it reasonably suspects that relevant books, tax records, or other documents which relate to any matter relevant to the investigation are kept, in order to prevent the removal, concealment, tampering with, or destruction of the books, records, or other documents;
(h) Issue adjustment or divestiture orders including orders for corporate reorganization or divestment in the manner and under such terms and conditions as may be prescribed in the rules and regulations implementing this Act. Adjustment or divestiture orders, which are structural remedies, should only be imposed:
(1) Where there is no equally effective behavioral remedy; or
(2) Where any equally effective behavioral remedy would be more burdensome for the enterprise concerned than the structural remedy. Changes to the structure of an enterprise as it existed before the infringement was committed would only be proportionate to the substantial risk of a lasting or repeated infringement that derives from the very structure of the enterprise;
(i) Deputize any and all enforcement agencies of the government or enlist the aid and support of any private institution, corporation, entity or association, in the implementation of its powers and functions;
(j) Monitor compliance by the person or entities concerned with the cease and desist order or consent judgment;
(k) Issue advisory opinions and guidelines on competition matters for the effective enforcement of this Act and submit annual and special reports to Congress, including proposed legislation for the regulation of commerce, trade, or industry;
(l) Monitor and analyze the practice of competition in markets that affect the Philippine economy; implement and oversee measures to promote transparency and accountability; and ensure that prohibitions and requirements of competition laws are adhered to;
(m) Conduct, publish, and disseminate studies and reports on anti-competitive conduct and agreements to inform and guide the industry and consumers;
(n) Intervene or participate in administrative and regulatory proceedings requiring consideration of the provisions of this Act that are initiated by government agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Energy Regulatory Commission and the National Telecommunications Commission;
(o) Assist the National Economic and Development Authority, in consultation with relevant agencies and sectors, in the preparation and formulation of a national competition policy;
(p) Act as the official representative of the Philippine government in international competition matters;
(q) Promote capacity building and the sharing of best practices with other competition-related bodies;
(r) Advocate pro-competitive policies of the government by:
(1) Reviewing economic and administrative regulations, motu proprio or upon request, as to whether or not they adversely affect relevant market competition, and advising the concerned agencies against such regulations; and
(2) Advising the Executive Branch on the competitive implications of government actions, policies and programs; and
(s) Charging reasonable fees to defray the administrative cost of the services rendered.
Section 13. Office for Competition (OFC), Powers and Functions
The OFC under the Department of Justice (DOJ-OFC) shall only conduct preliminary investigation and undertake prosecution of all criminal offenses arising under this Act and other competition-related laws in accordance with Section 31 of Chapter VI of this Act. The OFC shall be reorganized and allocated resources as may be required therefor to effectively pursue such mandate.