Searching for a competition law

. . . is the topic of my latest Trade Tripper column in this Friday-Saturday issue of BusinessWorld. Excerpts:

"It is probably a logical progression from the fact that since imports are down then concern must be made with regard to the state of competition within the Philippines. Senate Bill 3197 (Competition Act of 2009) seems to be doing just that and the momentum with which the bill is being propelled over the past few months is a testament to its authors’ concern over the competitive environment existing within the Philippines. This article is no way intended to be a detailed analysis of the bill but rather seeks to merely point out some areas of interest that could perhaps lead to further discussion on the matter.

Section 3 of SB 3197 interestingly describes the enforceability of the intended law to be "within the territory of the Republic of the Philippines and shall apply to all areas of trade, industry and commercial economic activity. It shall likewise be applicable to international trade having substantial effects in the Republic of the Philippines including those that result from acts done outside the Republic of the Philippines." The fact that jurisdiction is had over offenses committed within the Philippines is par for the course — territoriality being a long accepted jurisdictional premise within Philippine law. However, the latter portion of Section 3 is fascinating, flirting as it does with the probability of jurisdiction being extended by reason of either the protective principle or the passive personality principle of jurisdiction (the former being embodied, as an exception within our body of criminal law and jurisprudence, in Article 2 of the Revised Penal Code). It could also be indicative of Philippine acceptance of the emerging "effects doctrine" (more like that of objective territoriality doctrine), which is being increasingly employed by the US (e.g., the Helms-Burton and Sarbox laws, as well as the strange case of US vs. Alvarez-Machain)."