The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) is offering incentives to individuals with knowledge related to possible anti-competitive behavior amid the unusual surge in onion prices.
In a press conference Monday, PCC chairman Michael Aguinaldo said the commission has leniency program that protects whistleblowers and offers cartel participants immunity from suit or reducing fines in exchange for “spilling the beans” about the conduct of anti-competitive behavior that put consumers at disadvantage.
Aguinaldo admitted that the agency is facing some challenges in its investigation of possible cartel or abuse of dominance conduct that could be the reason for the skyrocketing onion prices in the past months.
“This is what the Congress also has been trying to look for as well — people who can spill the beans,” he said.
Aguinaldo said the leniency program is not limited to whistleblowers, but companies can also voluntarily avail of the program as they want to correct their anti-competitive behavior.
PCC’s leniency program aims to help the commission to deter the creation of cartels and to aid in the detection or prosecution of the existing ones.
Under the program, the government is incentivizing those currently or formerly cooperated with cartels who have vital information and/or evidence that are needed for a successful investigation of the case.
“Immunity from suit or reduction of fine will be granted to qualified entities for committing to stop anti-competitive conduct and the voluntary disclosure of information necessary for the prosecution of the remaining cartel members,” the PCC said.
CURRENTPH NEWS SERVICE