KEYNOTE ADDRESS Philippine Competition Commission

Posted on Febuary 1, 2017

1st Anniversary February 1, 2017 Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno Department of Budget and Management

Fellow workers in the government, friends, ladies and gentlemen, good evening.

It is my honor to be in the midst of advocates for public sector reforms.

Today marks a triumph in public policy that took 30 years in the making. Do you know that the first comprehensive competition bill was filed in the 8th Congress during the time of the late President Corazon Aquino? Yet, despite the obvious benefits of free competition, the Philippine Competition Law was passed only in July of 2015.

Being a student of governance / and active participant in public sector for about half a century, I understand the difficulties and frustrations of institutionalizing reforms in government, and for hurdling such obstacles, the founding anniversary of the PCC is indeed worth celebrating.

We all know that competition triggers efficiency and innovation. By fostering market competition, the government helps ordinary people afford necessities like rice, electricity, and medicine.  It helps consumers to enjoy goods and services with lower prices and better quality.

At the same time, entrepreneurs are more capable of starting up their own firms.  With a more level playing field, as a result of competition, economic opportunities are made more accessible to all.

In effect, we hit two birds with one stone: competition policy doubles as a poverty-reduction tool that improves the ease of doing business.

The PCC is the main instrumentality of the government that promotes competition. It curbs anti-competitive practices like price fixing, bid rigging, unfair mergers and acquisitions.  The PCC is vital in realizing the 0+10 Point Socio-economic Agenda of the Duterte administration and is essential in reaching our goals of strong and sustained growth, less poverty,  and reduced income inequality.

Now, I would like to think that I’ve been invited here today to give the keynote address with a purpose.  In other words, I was not a random choice.  So, let me affirm my commitment to PCC.

As head of the Department of Budget and Management, I would like to state that the DBM fully supports the Philippine Competition Commission.  We consider the PCC an integral partner for real change. The efforts of our respective agencies in making the Philippines a more competitive and prosperous economy are intertwined, both being concerned with the efficient allocation of resources for the good of the nation.

Hence, let me assure you that DBM is with the men and women of PCC every step of the way. We promise to provide you with adequate resources for capacity-building and technical support services,  and assist your agency as it grows  and matures   into the formidable organization it was envisioned to be.

Our country is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia.  In an aging world, we have a young population which we can develop into an agile and competent workforce.

Hence, we are headed for a bright future.  I’m sure there are well-known and unforeseen challenges along the way.  But with the help of everyone especially valuable instrumentalities like the PCC, we shall overcome these challenges.

Finally, let me congratulate all of you on your founding anniversary.  May the PCC have more productive years of service to the Filipino people.

Thank you everyone and mabuhay!