MANILA – The Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CabCom) approved last Thursday the Philippine Competition Commission’s (PCC) “Capacity Building to Foster Competition Project.”

The PCC project has a total project cost of PhP1.322 billion, of which PhP1.217 billion will be funded through a loan from the Asian Development Bank.

The capacity building project is aimed at institutionalizing the capacity of the government to enforce the Philippine Competition Law and promote free and fair competition in the country’s economic activities through capacity trainings, scholarships and establishment of academic centers in the country.

The project is set to be implemented from the third quarter of 2019 to January 2025.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia, who co-chairs the ICC-CabCom with Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, said the project is expected to contribute to the enhancement of market competition in the economy.

“With an improved manpower of PCC and other government agencies, through exposure to different fields, including competition economics, competition policy, and data science, we can expect market competition in the economy to be enhanced,” Pernia said in a statement on Monday.

Furthermore, the project is seen to foster competition in key economic sectors that are crucial in achieving inclusive development and, subsequently, improve the country’s ranking in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index (GCI). In 2017, the Philippines ranked 56th out 137 countries in the GCI.

Meanwhile, the ICC-CabCom also re-confirmed its earlier approval of the Metro Manila Bus Rapid Transit Line 1, along with its updated project description and cost amounting to PhP5.46 billion. This project involves the construction of 17 stations on a 11.4-kilometer stretch from the Manila City Hall to Philcoa in Quezon City. (PR)