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Philippines: Regulator is hiring whistleblowers against cartels

 |  June 18, 2017

The Philippines is turning to whistle-blowers to energize its struggling campaign against cartels.

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) will recruit whistle-blowers to report anti-competitive practices like price-fixing, Chairman Arsenio Balisacan said in an interview.

The antitrust body is also investigating the power generation and cement industries following complaints of alleged collusion among the sectors’ few players, he said. He declined to elaborate, citing the sensitivity of the issue.

“We need to coordinate, cooperate and collaborate,” Balisacan said in Manila. The PCC plans to grant individuals immunity from prosecution and exempt them from fines in exchange for information on fixing prices and imposing barriers to entry, he said.

Balisacan, the former economic planning secretary, is taking on the task of dismantling anti-competitive practices in the Philippines, which the World Bank has outlined as among the country’s key challenges. Southeast Asia’s youngest antitrust body is struggling as it faces off against wealthy, politically-connected families that dominate the business landscape.

The commission has been barred by a court from reviewing the sale of San Miguel Corp.’s telecommunication assets. The antitrust body in April asked the Supreme Court to lift the injunction against the review.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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