JICA holds study tour to boost PH businesses

Posted at 01/15/2014 3:32 PM

MANILA, Philippines – A study mission to Japan was recently organized by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to boost business climate in the Philippines and share Japan's best practices on implementing competition law.

The study tour, which is part of the advocacy program of JICA and the Department of Justice-Office for Competition (DOJ-OFC), was attended by a delegation of Philippine legislators.

"We want to help the Philippines level the playing field for investors by supporting the Philippines' efforts on competition policy. The study tour involving legislators is one step to move forward the Philippines' comprehensive competition policy initiative," JICA Chief Representative in the Philippines Takahiro Sasaki said in a statement.

JICA and the DOJ-OFC signed in August 2013 the Record of Discussion to implement a 3-year project on Capacity Building for a Comprehensive National Competition Policy Phase 2.

The project is aimed at enhancing the capacity of the concerned government personnel to handle competition cases from the economic point of view, as well as to hold training on commercial courts for judges and justices.

At the signing, Justice Sec. Leila de Lima highlighted the need "to further deepen the understanding of competition law and policy and enhance the skills of those directly concerned with the enforcement of current laws on competition policy."

Several versions of competition bills have been filed by both Senate and House of Representatives under the 15th Congress.

Senator Bam Aquino, one of the authors, expressed confidence that a single competition law will be enacted under the Aquino administration.

"This is the only administration that includes competition policy in its priority for legislation. I believe that competition bill shall be passed within this administration, if not, we do not know if the bill would ever be passed under another administration," Aquino said at the debriefing after the study mission.