Home » Breaking News, Press Releases » Balisacan leaves NEDA to lead new PH competition agency
Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, who is also director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), has resigned from his post to head the newly formed Philippine Competition Commission (PCC).

Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, who is also director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), will step down from his post to head the newly formed Philippine Competition Commission on Jan 31. Dr Emmanuel Esguerra, NEDA deputy director general, has been appointed OIC of the agency.

Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, who is also director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), has resigned from his post to head the newly formed Philippine Competition Commission (PCC).

The PCC is a quasi-judicial body that will enforce provisions of Republic Act No. 10667, also known as the Philippine Competition Act, which President Benigno Aquino III signed into law on July 21, 2015.

“Taking on the job as the first chairperson of the PCC for me is a very compelling challenge that is hard to ignore,” Balisacan, said in a statement.

“I see this as both a great responsibility and another privilege to steer the economy toward the right direction to realize all its growth potential,” he added.

His resignation will take effect on January 31. Deputy director-general for Policy and Planning Dr Emmanuel F. Esguerra will serve as officer-in-charge of NEDA.

The PCC, NEDA said, is tasked to ensure an efficient market competition by providing a level-playing field for businesses engaged in trade, industry, and all commercial economic activities.

The commission aims to protect consumer welfare, advance both domestic and international trade, and promote economic development. It has the mandate to conduct inquiries and investigations, and penalize anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant position, and anti-competitive mergers and acquisitions.

“We would want to address the problem of having a growing economy (that benefits only) a small sector. Promoting fair and healthy competition among firms is a major factor in ensuring that the benefits of growth are properly shared,” the new PCC chief said.

As socioeconomic planning secretary and head of NEDA since May 2012, Balisacan was the first chair of the Philippine Statistics Authority board and the Public-Private Partnership Center board. Concurrently, he was chairman of the board for the Philippine Institute of Development Studies, Philippine Center for Economic Development, and Philippine Statistical Research and Training Institute.

Prior to his appointment to NEDA, Balisacan was dean and professor of the University of the Philippines- School of Economics. He also served as the director of the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture or SEARCA from 2003 to 2009, and was undersecretary of the Department of Agriculture in 2000, 2001, and 2003.

Recognized as a leading development economist in Asia, Balisacan will be bringing to PCC, aside from his experience as secretary of socioeconomic planning, his expertise in development economics, international economics, and applied welfare economics.

Balisacan has been an academician of the National Academy of Science and Technology since 2008 and an adjunct professor at the Australian National University since 2011.

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