Press Release
July 21, 2015

Drilon: New Anti-Trust Law, Cabotage Amendments are Milestones of Congress' Reform Agenda

The signing of two landmark economic laws today, the Philippine Competition Act and the amendments to the Cabotage Law, are two another milestones in the 16th Congress' continuing reform agenda, Senate President Franklin M. Drilon today said.

In a message delivered during the official signing ceremony for the two laws led by President Benigno Aquino III this morning, Drilon said that both houses of Congress remain committed to the administration's drive "to institutionalize a culture of accountability and transparency."

"A year from now, when history is written, the reforms that the Aquino administration put in place will certainly be highlighted," Drilon said, adding that "for the past five years, the Philippine Congress has supported the reform agenda of this administration."

Drilon stressed how "Congress, for all our shortcomings, did its share in enacting laws to liberalize the investing environment, level the playing field, strengthen the rule of law, among others."

He pointed to the new Philippine Competition Act, which will create a "competition policy that outlaws and penalizes anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant position, and anti-competitive mergers and acquisitions."

Similarly, he said that the amendments to the Cabotage Law will liberalize coastwise trading with the nation's islands, which "opens the market to competition, brings down cost of transportation by sea, and enables the country to fully utilize the supply chains for products."

"For more than two decades, we have been trying to pass these measures. It is only now in the 16th Congress and with the reform-driven leadership of President Aquino that we have finally enacted these laws," Drilon underscored.

"With the signing of these two laws, we can say that the Philippines is now better-equipped to face the challenges of the future," he then said.

Drilon said that the two new laws will join the list of much-needed laws that were passed as part of the administration's reform agenda, including the GOCC Governance Act, the liberalization of entry of foreign banks, the removal of Foreign Carriers Tax, the amendments to the Insurance Code, the Reproductive Health Law, the Sin Tax Reform Law, the amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Law, the amendments to the Sandiganbayan Act, and the raising of tax exemptions to the 13th Month Pay.

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