The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has published its 2017 Rules of Procedure (Rules), which shall guide the PCC in the handling of complaints, referrals from regulatory agencies, and motu proprio inquiries, as well as in the conduct of its investigations.
Under the Rules, the PCC, through the Enforcement Office, shall conduct a 90-day preliminary inquiry on the basis of a verified complaint, referral by a regulatory agency, or a directive from the Chairman and the Commissioners of the PCC (Commission), to determine whether there are reasonable grounds to conduct a full administrative investigation for any violation of the Philippine Competition Act (PCA), its implementing rules, or other competition laws.
If it finds reasonable grounds during the preliminary inquiry, the Enforcement Office shall conduct a full administrative investigation to ascertain whether there is sufficient basis to charge an entity for such violation.
The Enforcement Office shall prosecute the case before the Commission, and the latter shall determine whether there exists substantial evidence (i) of a violation of the PCA, and (ii) to justify the imposition of appropriate penalties and remedies. The Rules also provide that the Commission may impose interim measures, such as cease and desist orders, during the conduct of the proceedings.
Final orders or decisions of the Commission shall be appealable to the Court of Appeals in accordance with the Rules of Court.
The Rules were published in two major broadsheets on 15 September 2017, and will take effect fifteen days thereafter. A copy of the Rules can be downloaded from the PCC website.