Public Advisory: Interim Guidelines during Periods of Community Quarantine
26 May 2020
For Immediate Release
The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) issued on 25 May 2021 the Interim Guidelines During Periods of Community Quarantine under Commission Resolution No. 006-2021 to guide the public of the agency’s operations during the different levels of community quarantine amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In compliance with the amended Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines adopted by the Office of the President and the health protocols prescribed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging and Infectious Diseases (IATF), the following guidelines have been adopted:
• Categories: The Guidelines shall take effect immediately wherein rules shall automatically apply upon the implementation of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), General Community Quarantine (GCQ), and Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) as announced by the Office of the President, and during Temporary Closures of premises in accordance with Memorandum Circular No. 85, s. 2021 issued by the Office of the President.
• Filing of Documents (Soft Copies): Through the PCC SharePoint Facility for Notification Forms and Letters of Non-Coverage and by email for cases pending before the Commission, compliance to Requests for Documents or Information before the CEO, Pre-Notification Consultations and other related matters.
• Submission of Documents (Hard Copies): Hard copies of documents shall be submitted within the prescribed periods:
§ Mergers and Acquisitions: Within seven (7) days from lifting of ECQ /MECQ or within five (5) days from electronic filing during the GCQ/MGCQ period.
§ Enforcement: Within seven (7) days from lifting of ECQ or within five (5) days from electronic filing during the MECQ/GCQ/MGCQ period.
§ Adjudication: Within seven (7) days upon lifting of ECQ or within five (5) days from electronic filing during MECQ/GCQ/MGCQ period.
Should Temporary Closure intervene during the period to submit, the party shall have the remaining balance of such periods, as stated above, after Temporary Closure is lifted to submit the hard copies. • Service of Documents: Service may be done electronically through email, personal service, service by registered mail, or by private courier; with online service as the preferred mode.
• Service of Documents: Service may be done electronically through email, personal service, service by registered mail, or by private courier; with online service as the preferred mode.
- Notification Period: If the 30th day of the notification period falls within the Community Quarantine Period, the 30-day Notification Period shall be waived where parties may file anytime after the signing of definitive agreements but prior to any acts of consummation.
- Phase 1 and Phase 2 Reviews: For newly filed notifications, the merger review proper will commence upon the lifting of ECQ and MECQ. However, parties may request to proceed with the review during this period provided justification and waiver on the periods are submitted to allow 45 days for Phase 1 review and 75 days for Phase 2 review. Where warranted, transactions undergoing from Phase 1 review to Phase 2 review will proceed during ECQ, MECQ, GCQ, or MGCQ, subject to the guidelines for the issuance of Orders of Payment and the collection of filing fees.
- Expedited Review: Expedited Merger Reviews shall remain suspended.
- Letters of Non-Coverage: Transactions that qualify for non-coverage shall be issued with Acknowledgments by the Mergers and Acquisitions Office (MAO).
- Pre-Notification Consultation: MAO shall continue to provide parties with advice on notifications via PNCs via email or videoconference, when requested.
§ Investigations: Investigations by the Competition Enforcement Office will remain operative, subject to the health and security protocols prescribed in the Guidelines.
§ Complaint portal: Complaints and inquiries regarding anti-competitive conduct and enforcement action, especially on essential goods and services, may be filed at the Enforcement Resource Portal at https://www.phcc.gov.ph/covid19/.
§ Hearings, Proceedings and submission of evidence: Hearings, preliminary conferences and other proceedings shall be conducted remotely, as prescribed in Commission Resolution No. 029-2020.
§ Administration of Oaths: Proceedings will be done remotely as prescribed by Section IV, Commission Resolution No. 21-2020
§ Witnesses and Resource Persons: Presentation of witnesses and resource persons for hearings shall be conducted remotely, subject to conditions set in Commission Resolution No. 029-2020.
• Meetings: All meetings shall be conducted remotely via videoconferencing and recorded with consent by the parties.
• Fees, Fines, and Penalties: Payment of notification fees, fines and penalties shall be made at the PCC Cashier Office via the PCC Client Appointment Sys