Enhancing digitalization through pro-competition policies key to improving products and services – NEDA

Pro-competitive policies and regulations in digital markets are key to ensuring that affordable, high-quality digital services and products are available to both Filipino consumers and businesses.

This was emphasized by National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan in the recently concluded workshop on Fostering Digitalization through the National Competition Policy (NCP) led by the NEDA and the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC).

The workshop aimed to capacitate the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in assessing the impact of policies and regulations on competition, as well as building more robust collaboration between the agencies participating in the workshop.

“Focusing the implementation of the NCP on digital markets is key, as digitalization is one of the cross-cutting strategies identified by the Marcos Administration under its Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028,” said Balisacan in his closing remarks for the final workshop.

“Such technologies are crucial toward enabling Filipino individuals and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), particularly the poor and those in geographically isolated areas, to access broader markets and opportunities in healthcare, education, finance, agriculture, and in many other sectors,” Balisacan added.

The NEDA chief also emphasized the significant role of digitalization in facilitating the flourishing of the services ecosystem, which is expected to spur improvements in productivity throughout the economy, leading to the multiplication of economic and social opportunities.

“May this workshop bear fruit and raise awareness among us of the competition dimensions and market impact of our agencies’ policies and regulations. More importantly, may it lead to action as we turn our ICT sector into an engine of growth and dynamism as we work toward achieving economic and social transformation for a prosperous, inclusive, and resilient society,” Balisacan said.

On June 7, 2023, the DICT and NTC started conducting competition impact assessments (CIAs) on policies that affect competition in digital terrestrial television broadcasts, construction of common telecommunication towers, cloud services, and value-added services. During the final workshop on November 6, 2023, they presented the results of these CIAs and their recommendations.

The NCP, which was set for implementation in late 2021 through Administrative Order 44, s. 2021 provides a framework for government agencies to formulate and adopt pro-competitive policies, rules and regulations, and issuances to avoid competition distortions and an uneven playing field for businesses.

Pursuant to this, the Fostering Digitalization through the National Competition Policy project of NEDA and the PCC is being conducted to promote collaboration with the DICT and NTC and enhance digitalization through well-crafted policies that encourage healthy competition in the digital sector.

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