PCC crafts merger rules for solicited PPP projects
The Philippine Competition Commission has streamlined its merger review process for joint ventures formed for solicited public-private partnership (PPP) projects.
PCC has detailed the procedure in securing a certificate of project exemption, allowing prospective bidders to meet both the requirements of the Philippine Competition Act and the Build-Operate-Transfer Law in the streamlined process.
“This track enables the PCC to inject the necessary competition safeguards early on and pave the way for faster roll-out of these priority infrastructure projects. The measure embodies efficiency of processes by the implementing agency, the PPP Center, and the PCC, while remaining steadfast to our respective mandates,” said PCC chairman Arsenio M. Balisacan.
Under the new rules, which shall take effect on Aug.16.,the antitrust body’s involvement will be frontloaded prior to the bidding to address competition concerns that may arise from the project, its bidding process, and bidders.
In effect, the review already screens firms for competition concerns and removes the prospect of delays.
Prior to the circular, joint ventures formed by prospective bidders that meet the thresholds have to notify and undergo full merger review by the PCC after getting the nod of the implementing agency or PPP Center.
To ensure the competition safeguards are followed, the PCC shall monitor the project and may launch a motu proprio merger review if the winning bidder violates any of its undertakings to the PCC.