GOCCs urged to promote fair competition

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    The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is urging government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) to implement structural measures to further promote fair competition in the market.

    “GOCCs should adopt structural measures to address any identified anti-competitive behavior relating to their mandate and operations, since the private sector may be in a better position to carry out some of their commercial pursuits,” Ernesto Pernia, socioeconomic planning secretary, said in a press statement yesterday.

    NEDA recently drafted a National Competition Policy that aims to enhance market competition by fostering an environment that facilitates entry of business players.

    The agency also said in the statement it joined the discussion on the privatization of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

    NEDA said GOCCs must examine their mandates and manuals of operations to ensure that competitive neutrality is maintained as they discharge their proprietary and commercial functions.

    Competitive neutrality requires GOCCs operating as a business to compete with private firms on a level playing field, without any preferential treatment in commercial activities that would disadvantage the private sector, NEDA said.

    The Governance Commission for GOCCs is tasked to review the mandates of GOCCs, as well as examine possible conflicts in their proprietary and regulatory functions or roles as operator and regulator.

    Proprietary or commercial functions are activities of GOCCs that enable them to earn or derive income while regulatory functions are those that enable them to set rules in their specific sector or market.

    Pernia said transparency must be observed in procurement processes and that procurement laws, rules and regulations should be applied equally and equitably to GOCCs and firms in the private sector.