Sen. Bam Aquino himself stayed all throughout too, even if he was not the main speaker. During the open forum, he discussed many things, like the degree of lobbying from different sectors in his office and that of other Senators. This is understandable as people express some apprehensions if their companies or sectors might be adversely affected by some provisions.
He said that they expect the Competition bill to become a law before the President delivers his 6th and last State of the Nation Address (SONA) in late July 2015.
She went back to history (US, Europe, etc.) in analyzing the philosophy of competition legislation.
I have not read the Senate and House bills on competition policy, one reason why I attended that forum. And it was difficult for me to follow some of Joy's discussion precisely because I have not read the bills.
I can understand that those economic alliances would require such a law before applicant governments of other countries can be accepted because they want to see how their companies will be treated here in case they get into legal troubles on "anti-competition" charges someday.
That's a good point. And I will add that ALL monopolies and oligopolies are created by the government via various agencies, local and national.
Inter-island shipping route monopolies or duopolies are created by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), local airline route monopolies or duopolies are created by the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).
Electricity distributors and cooperatives, telecom companies, water utilities, cable TVs, etc. area or geographical monopolies are all created by Congress via legislative franchising.
Personally, I would wish to see a competition law where a new office or bureaucracy, the Competition Commission or Fair Trade Commission, will have power to clamp on other government agencies (LGUs, LTFRB, CAB, MARINA, PAGCOR, NFA, PPA, etc.) that disallow fair competition because they themselves are the monopolists, or choose special corporate interests as the government-blessed monopolists and duopolists.
But those agencies will fight tooth and nail, horns and claws, to prevent that bill to become a law. And so we will have no competition law this year or the next 10 years or more. And the PH government will be embarrassed in the international community why it has no competition law until this decade or next decade.
And that means we will have to accept this new law, imperfect of course, even "ugly" for some sectors. We can settle with that as a compromise, then work for its amendment in the coming years and decades.
Competition and Prosperity, KL Conference, October 12, 2011
Fierce Competition is Fair Competition, January 22, 2013
Competition Policy 3: Jemy Gatdula's Article, September 16, 2013