Republic Act No. 10667, otherwise known as the Philippine Competition Act (PCA), mandates the PCC to conduct, publish and disseminate studies and reports on anti-competitive conduct and agreements to inform and guide consumers and businesses.
The PCC Long-Term Research Program (PLRP) seeks to help advance research in the field of competition policy and law (CPL) in the Philippines by encouraging scholarly research to support merger and acquisition reviews, competition enforcement and advocacy initiatives of the PCC; funding grant proposals on CPL-related research activities; and disseminating research findings that address competition issues especially from a developing country perspective.
Who may apply?
All employees of the PCC may apply. External collaborators may also apply provided the research team will include at least one PCC employee. The primary responsibility of delivering the research outputs rests on the PCC staff. If the research project requires the direct involvement of an external research institution, a memorandum of agreement between PCC and the external institution shall be signed.
Research projects funded under the PLRP must fall in either of these three (3) broad research areas:
- Monitoring and impact assessment on PCC interventions with respect to merger control, competition enforcement, and advocacy. As the PCC relies on its counterparts in other jurisdictions for best practices, whether competition concepts and tools adopted from mature competition agencies will result in the PCC implementing adequate and effective measures in the conduct of its mandate remains an empirical question.
- Market and institutional design. PCC participates in public consultations on market regulation and market design, and drafts guidelines that complement the implementing rules and regulations of the PCA. The PLRP can provide evidence-based studies to support PCC’s position on important issues.
- Commission’s priorities. Priority areas and/or issues identified by the Chairman and the Commissioners.
Terms and conditions of the grant
- Amount of financial assistance and use of funds. Proponents may apply for up to one million pesos (Php1,000,000) to cover the cost of (i) data purchase, (ii) data gathering [e.g., payment for enumerators/interviewers and encoders, cost of focus group discussions, payment to subjects in an experiment], (iii) hiring of programmers and research assistants, (iv) cost of meetings, and (v) other research-related costs such as journal submission fees. Funding may also cover the costs of presenting the study’s results in conferences but this shall be limited to those incurred by the PCC staff grantees. No part of the grant shall be spent for salaries, honoraria, or allowances of any of the research team members.
- The grant must be disbursed by the end of the fiscal year. Final research outputs must be completed within 18 months from the date of the grant, but preliminary results must be submitted to the PLRP Committee by the end of the fiscal year. Request for an extension of final output submission is subject to the approval of the PCC Executive Director. The period of extension, should not, however, exceed six (6) months and not involve additional monetary cost to PCC.
- Obligations of the grantee. The research grantee's obligations include the following: (i) submit written semi-annual status/progress report(s) to the PLRP Committee including any changes in the research program/schedule; (ii) disburse funds by the end of the fiscal year subject to the usual government accounting rules; (iii) submit to the PLRP Committee all data used in the study and an expressed permission for the PCC to use the data with the appropriate acknowledgement of the source of the same; (iv) acknowledge the financial assistance of the PCC in the primary research work and the variants of the work completed; (v) submit to the PLRP Committee a final copy of the research output; (vi) present the findings of the research during meetings, workshops, seminars, or other fora that may be organized by PCC; (vii) provide a written permission to PCC to publish the research output as a PCC discussion paper or as a PCC policy note, subject to the approval of the PCC Editorial Board; (viii) inform the PCC of the grantee’s plan to publish the research output.
- Use of official time for PLRP-funded research. PCC staff granted research funding shall continue to prioritize case-related assignments. Activities related to the PLRP grant should be done either outside of office hours or during office hours only when the current case load allows.
- Contract of agreement. A contract outlining all the above terms and conditions shall be entered into by and between the grantee and the PCC Executive Director. Failure to comply with the conditions of the grant shall render the grantee ineligible for further grants. Said provision will remain until such time that the grantee is able to complete all the requirements of the contract. This would also be reflected in the individual performance scorecard (IPS) of the PCC grantee.
- Any written output produced under the program shall include an acknowledgement that the study has been carried out with financial support provided by the PCC, and a disclaimer saying that the PCC is not responsible for the findings and opinions expressed in the research. The grantee’s research results shall be shared within PCC in at least one (1) brownbag seminar. The PCC retains the right to publish or disseminate the work as a discussion paper or a policy note. The grantee has the option to present in local or foreign conferences but shall acknowledge funding support from PCC. The grantee may endeavor to secure publication of the research output or its variant in a peer-reviewed journal. If the grantee decides to do so, a notice addressed to the PCC Executive Director must be made.
- Data ownership and access. The PCC shall assert ownership over and take custody of the research data for projects conducted under the PLRP. After data gathering or data purchase, PCC grantees and external collaborators shall be granted access subject to relevant confidentiality restrictions.
After completion of the research, all research data shall be surrendered and shall remain the property of PCC. Research data may be accessible to employees of PCC, external collaborators and other researchers upon request from the PLRP Committee, subject to: (a) the prior written approval of the PCC Executive Director; and, (b) relevant confidentiality restrictions, where appropriate.
- There shall be an annual call for proposals. In 2020, the submission deadline is 5pm on 16 March.
- Proponents must submit a detailed research proposal clearly explaining the relevance of the study’s results to PCC’s operations. At the minimum, the proposal should explain the specific research objectives, the relevance of the project relative to the existing literature, research methodology, and the research team’s composition.
- Grant applicants are required to submit the following: (i) a detailed research proposal, (ii) a cover letter addressed to the PCC Executive Director, (iii) a work plan which provides the schedule of activities and the indicative research timeline, and (iv) a financial plan which provides a breakdown of the estimated financial requirements of the project and the proposed timeline on the release of funds.
Evaluation of proposals
The PLRP Committee shall be responsible in evaluating research proposals. The following constitute the set of criteria to be used in evaluating the proposals:
- Relevance of proposed research to PCC’s mandate and operations;
- Contribution of the research results to the CPL literature; and
- Technical and financial feasibility.
Release of funds
The release of project funds shall be in accordance with the terms and conditions stated in the signed Contract of Agreement. The PCC shall release the project funds in tranches upon submission and acceptance of the required deliverables. The first payment of the grant shall be released upon the signing of the contract. It shall serve as a mobilization fund for the grantees to be able to start the implementation of the project. The amount of the mobilization fund and the succeeding tranches shall be based on the financial plan and the proposed timeline on the release of funds.
The PLRP Committee shall oversee the implementation of all approved projects. It shall ensure that the conditions and policies concerning project implementation are strictly followed. The PCC Executive Director shall issue a certification on the completion of each required deliverable.
 Total budget to cover submission fees shall be limited to US$400. If an initial paper submission is rejected by a journal, the grantee may charge submission fees to a second or third journal subject to the US$400 cap.
 Excluding conference fees and journal submission fees.
 Research data refer to all information in whatever form collected and/or generated in the course of the research project conducted under the PLRP. These include processed and raw data, including recordings of such data.