Atty. Lorna Patajo-Kapunan was a resource speaker at the second "Understanding Anti-Trust" Public Forum held at the Philippine Senate last February 10, 2011. Atty. Kapunan gave a detailed and very informative talk on previous and existing anti-trust laws in the Philippines, the issues surrounding what she described as these "scattered" provisions, and the need for a comprehensive anti-trust framework. A brief outline of Atty. Kapunan's presentation during the public forum appears below:
A Critique of Philippine Anti-Trust Laws
by Atty. Lorna Patajo-Kapunan
Kapunan Lotilla Garcia & Castillo Law Offices
Various Existing Anti-Trust Laws in the Philippines
- THE PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION, Article XII, Section 19
- The Revised Penal Code of the Philippines, Article 186
- The New Civil Code of the Philippines, Article 28
- Republic Act No. 7394, the "Consumer Act of the Philippines"
- Republic Act No. 7581, the "Price Act"
- The Corporation Code of the Philippines, Section 79
- The Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines
- Republic Act No. 8479, the "Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998"
- Republic Act No. 7042, the "Foreign Investments Act of 1991"
- Republic Act No. 8762, the "retail Trade Liberalization Act of 2000"
- All laws relating to anti-trust are scattered in different codes.
- Existing anti-trust laws do not provide for clear-cut guidelines, elements/requisites or evidence to determine whether an act constitutes unfair competition, monopolistic behavior or restraint of trade.
- Lack of judicial experience in determining anti-trust laws, caused also by inadequate laws.
- Need for proper body to determine whether there was any violation of anti-trust laws.
- Codification of anti-trust laws into one statute.
- Recognition of the rise of Small and Medium Filipino Enterprises (SME) and the need for protection.
- Clearer protection against vertical agreements which have the effect of restraining trade.
- Definition of vertical price restraints and predatory pricing.
- Recognition of the disadvantage of vertical price restraint to the distributor or retailer.
- Recognition that protection from vertical price restraint is not a novel concept as other countries have protected against such form of anti-trust practice.
- Senate Bill No. 1 (Senator Juan Ponce Enrile)
- Senate Bill No. 123 (Senator Sergio R. Osmena III)
- Senate Bill No. 175 (Senator Antonio "Sonny" F. Trillanes IV)
- Senate Bill No. 1838 (Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago)