17 0 0 3 weeks ago 3 min to read

PCC rewards informants who expose the onion cartel.

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In response to the unprecedented rise in onion prices, the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) is providing incentives to people who have information about potential anti-competitive behavior.

Michael Aguinaldo, the chairman of the PCC, claimed in a press conference on Monday that the commission has a leniency program that safeguards informants and grants cartel members immunity from legal action or reduced fines in exchange for “spilling the beans” about anti-competitive practices that disadvantage consumers.

Aguinaldo acknowledged that the agency is having some difficulty determining whether there may have been a cartel or other abuse of dominance that contributed to the recent spike in onion prices.

Those who can spill the beans are what Congress has also been attempting to find, he said.

According to Aguinaldo, the leniency program is not only available to whistleblowers; businesses can also willingly participate in it in order to change their anti-competitive behavior.

The PCC’s leniency program intends to assist the commission in both identifying and prosecuting existing cartels as well as helping to prevent their formation.

Under the scheme, the government rewards people who have worked with cartels in the past or present and who have crucial information and/or evidence required for a thorough examination of the case.

According to the PCC, “qualifying entities will be awarded immunity from an action or a reduction in penalties for pledging to cease anti-competitive behavior and the voluntary revelation of information necessary for the prosecution of the remaining cartel members.”

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