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Antitrust body to zero in on 4 industries in 2017

The Philippine antitrust commission is zeroing in on four industries next year as part of its mandate to promote competitive practices in the country.

"These cases – international shipping, cement, power and agriculture – were endorsed for review and investigation," Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) Chairman Arsenio M. Balisacan told reporters on the sidelines of the World Competition Day celebration in Pasig City.

Those sectors will be placed on the priority list for review and investigation, based on the requests received by the commission, Balisacan noted.

He said a shipping group has requested to be excluded from antitrust reviews, which prompted the PCC to take a deeper look into the organization.

In the case of the cement industry, Balisacan said he received from a former Philippine undersecretary a request for review.

A similar request was filed by the Department of Energy (DOE), seeking an investigation into the causes of the recent yellow and red alerts issued by the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).

"There may be anti-competitive practices," Balisacan said.

For the agriculture sector, Balisacan said an organization asked for a review – especially of the rice with the National Food Authority as the country's main importer of the commodity.

Balisacan noted the sectors were not just random picks made by the commission. "These aren't just from nowhere," he said. — VS, GMA News