Competition law in the Philippines: economic, legal, and institutional context

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Where democracy is fragile and institutions function poorly, particularly in a developing country, competition law faces tremendous challenges. Getting a new agency started and getting the traction needed to ensure the successful launch and implementation of a new competition framework cannot be taken for granted. Yet the effort is worthwhile, even if a country has had a history of 'false dawns' in this policy field. This article introduces the new competition regime in the Philippines. From a general perspective it recalls that while competition law does not by itself guarantee sustainable and inclusive growth and development, it is a desirable part of a broader ensemble of policies that can promote those aims. In more country-specific terms, the new law discussed here-the Competition Act 2015, fully effective since the summer of 2017- can only be properly considered by understanding the Philippines itself. The article therefore surveys the country's governance and institutions; its economy; and the roles of the rule of law and the courts. The legal and institutional framework specific to competition law and policy is then analysed at length. The substance of the Act, the enforcement and sanctioning powers of the Philippine Competition Commission, and relevant legal procedures are all examined. Now that the legislator has established a promising statutory framework, it is time to focus on the most difficult tasks of implementation and deep culture change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-122
Number of pages44
JournalJournal of Antitrust Enforcement
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Antitrust
  • Competition law
  • Competition law institutions
  • Developing country
  • Economic development
  • Philippines

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