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Competition Policy

top priority for legislators




The TRADE project, through COP Cielito Habito, began direct coordination with
House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. in a meeting held 24 October. Speaker Belmonte
is author of House Bill 1133, now pending at the House Committee on Trade and
Industry chaired by Las Pias Congressman Mark Villar. The meeting was an initial step
towards the projects goal of assisting government in meeting Philippine commitments
to the AEC Blueprint which calls on ASEAN members to have a competition policy in
place by 2015. In his discussion with Dr. Habito, Speaker Belmonte affirmed the bill to
be a top priority for him, as he considers it critical to stimulating creative business
activities and promoting a balanced development of the economy. The Speaker agreed
to bring together Congressmen chairing key House Committees for a formal
presentation of the TRADE project to the House leadership on November 5.

Meanwhile, Senator Paolo Benigno Bam Aquino, author of the counterpart Senate
Bill 1027 and Chairman of the Senate Trade and Commerce Committee (TCC), is also
in working partnership with TRADE, which is assisting the senators technical staff in
drafting a Competition Policy bill consistent with international best practices. Meeting
with Dr. Habito on 19 October 2013, Senator Aquino expressed his intention to mark
the bill as one of the top priorities in his legislative agenda.

The Philippine Fair Competition Act of 2013 is designed to protect consumer

(continued on next page)
TRADE-RELATED ASSISTANCE FOR DEVELOPMENT PROJECT OCTOBER 2013
T R A D E
This newsletter is made possible by the generous support of the American
People through the United States Agency for International Development
(USAID). The contents of this newsletter are the sole responsibility of the
TRADE Project and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the
United States Government.
Farewell Breakfast

TRADE COP Cielito Habito
poses with US Ambassador
Harry Thomas during a
breakfast for the outgoing
ambassador hel d on
October 2 at the Spiral
room of Sofitel. Ambassador
Thomas assumed his post in
2010.
The partnership between the Bureau of
Customs (BOC) and the TRADE Project
was sealed through a memorandum
order signed by the BOC Commissioner
on October 22. The BOC is the lead
counterpart for the projects trade
facilitation component which focuses
on customs modernization and the
implementation of the National Single
Window. TRADE aims to help the BOC
formulate executive and administrative
measures to implement the Customs
Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA)
once passed in Congress.
I n t h e me mor a n du m, BOC
Commissioner Ruffy Biazon thanked
TRADE for its technical assistance and
introduced the deputy commissioners
who form the new management team
following the agencys reorganization.
Biazon said that with the new team, the
BOC would have new perspective, new
approach and renewed drive in boosting
the bureaus performance and fight
against corruption. He also stressed the
need for working with partners like
TRADE towards the implementation of
reform initiatives aimed at trade
facilitation.

An orientation meeting between
TRADEs key personnel and the new
officials has been set for November 4.

(Photo from Philippine Star)
BOC/TRADE
partnership
set in motion

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce
and Industry (PCCI), in partnership with
the TRADE project, held a training
seminar aimed at cultivating experts in
trade policy formulation and consultation.
This program, called the 5th I-MUST
PLUS (Institutionalization of Multi-
Stakeholder Professional Learning and
Universal Skills for Trade Policy and
Negotiations) was held from October 8-
11 at the BSA Securities Hall, PCCI
Training Center in Taguig City.

TRADE sponsored 20 I-MUST PLUS
trainees, all of whom are members of the
Committee on ASEAN Economic
Community (CAEC), and who benefited
from activities such as trade negotiations
simulation exercises and discussions on
trade and competition policy, the ASEAN
Economic Community, intellectual
property and trade remedies.

In order to encourage the private sector
to be more engaged in trade negotiations,
the 5th I-MUST PLUS focused on topics
such as trade policy and the international
trade framework, as well as the potential
of FTAs to maximize business
opportunities. The curriculum covered
topics such as Case Study on
Competition in the Philippine Shipping
Above: I -MUST PLUS
participants gather for a
group photo at the PCCI
center in Taguig. Left:
TRADE Deputy COP Gareth
Davies gives welcome
r emar ks dur i ng t he
seminars opening session.
Right and below: Trainees
e ng ag e i n t r a de
negotiations simulation.

TRADE PROJECT STAFF
3F HERCO Center, 114 Benavidez St., Legazpi Village Makati City 1229

Chief of Party: Dr. Cielito F. Habito Deputy Chief of Party: Gareth J. Davies Senior Adviser for
Trade Policy: Dr. Ramon Clarete Trade Policy Specialist: Myrene Bedao Component Lead for
Trade Facilitation: Cecilia V. Reyes Adviser for Trade Facilitation: Edmund C. Guamen Component
Lead for Competition Policy: Gigo Alampay Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist: Miguel V. Guioguio
Communications Specialist: Kimi Tuvera Research Assistant: Abigail Dumalus Director of Operations:
Mitos Q. Aldave Project Accountant: Imelda L. Mallari Administrative Assistant: Rose Catindoy
2 TRADE / OCTOBER 2013
COMPETITION (contd)

welfare. It regulates monopolies and
anti -competi tive agreements and
measures in order to advance domestic
and international trade and achieve
sustained economic development. The bill
seeks to create a Philippine Fair Trade
Commission tasked with prosecuting
those engaging in unfair and deceptive
trade practices.

As a related activity, TRADE plans to
TRADE sponsors
training for
CAEC
members
conduct in collaboration with the
Philippine Chamber of Commerce and
Industry (PCCI) and other private sector
counterparts seminar workshops with
partner legislators as official hosts. The
workshops will be designed for the
appropriate offices and committees of both
houses of Congress, with the aim of
increasing the technical expertise and
knowledge of legislators and their key
technical staff to defend and pass the
proposed competition law.
(Photos from Philippine Star and GMA News.)
Industry: Bottlenecks for Global
Competitiveness; Trade Statistics and
their Use for Business; and Introduction
to Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual
Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement.
Other key topics included Understanding
the Multilateral trade policy framework:
Market Access in Goods, Trade in
Services; Trade Policy for Export Success;
Understanding Non-Tariff Barriers
(NTBs); and traditional trade policy tools
for business competitiveness including
Trade Remedies and Dispute Settlement
Mechanism.