Project Title

Capacity-Building for SMEs on Competition Policy and Law 

Project Year

2014   

Project Number

EC 07 2014A 

Project Session

Session 2   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Project in Implementation   
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Project No.

EC 07 2014A 

Project Title

Capacity-Building for SMEs on Competition Policy and Law 

Project Status

Project in Implementation 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

APEC Support Fund 

Sub-fund

ASF: APEC's New Strategy on Structural Reform (ANSSR) 

Project Year

2014 

Project Session

Session 2 

APEC Funding

173,250 

Co-funding Amount

5,500 

Total Project Value

178,750 

Sponsoring Forum

Economic Committee (EC) 

Topics

Structural Reform 

Committee

Economic Committee (EC) 

Other Fora Involved

 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

Philippines 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Thailand; Viet Nam 

Expected Start Date

01/01/2015 

Expected Completion Date

31/12/2015 

Project Proponent Name 1

Dr Benjamin E Radoc, Jr (new PO wef 30 May 2017) 

Job Title 1

Director (Economics Office) 

Organization 1

Philippine Competition Commission 

Postal Address 1

2/F Development Academy of the Philippines, San Miguel Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City 1600, Philippines 

Telephone 1

63-2 6312129 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

beradocjr@phcc.gov.ph 

Project Proponent Name 2

Not Applicable 

Job Title 2

Not Applicable 

Organization 2

Not Applicable 

Postal Address 2

Not Applicable 

Telephone 2

Not Applicable 

Fax 2

Not Applicable 

Email 2

Not Applicable 

Declaration

Dr Benjamin E Radoc, Jr 

Project Summary

SMEs are central component of economic growth and competitive economy. They are also the worst victims of anti-competitive practices. 

This project aims to build the capacity of SMEs on Competition Policy and Law (CPL) as relevant and applicable to their needs. It will do so by identifying the key issues facing SMEs in relation to CPL issues through the: 1) conduct of baseline and mapping studies, including regulatory impact analysis; 2) conduct of Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) to discuss key SME and CPL issues; 3) conduct of seminar workshops to ensure awareness by SMEs of their rights to seek legal remedies and redress 4) develop an online portal to be used as a central point of reference on CPL and SMEs.

The Project falls under Rank 1 of APEC-funded projects, particularly in promoting SME development and aligns with ANSSR Philippine commitment of promoting sustained SME development.

Relevance

SMEs, particularly in developing economies, propel economic growth and are an important part of a competitive economy. Anti-competitive conduct by large enterprises or anti-competitive policies and practices can inhibit the growth and sustainability of SMEs. The Competition Policy and Law (CPL) framework provides mechanisms that address anti-competitive conduct and practices.  However, the effectiveness of CPL is diminished by the lack of awareness amongst SMEs of CPL and by inadequate institutional support for SMEs to challenge anti-competitive behavior. 

An effective and well-functioning CPL framework can protect SMEs from the damaging conduct of large enterprises by promoting ethical trade practices that will balance the competition in the market and level the playing field, thus making it easier for SMEs to compete, particularly within the context of regional economic integration. Experiences in other countries demonstrate that SMEs with an effective working knowledge of their rights under competition law, coupled with mediation and arbitration support, have better chances at challenging large firm practices by bringing complaints to the competition authorities. There is hence a need to institute mechanisms to build the capacity of SMEs on CPL issues relevant to their needs. 

While the project primarily benefits the proponent economy, it also presents opportunities for the other economies to learn, if not replicate the project to suit their respective contexts and capacities. 

This project falls under Rank 1 of APEC-funded projects, particularly in promoting SME development including improving access to global markets. A strong application of CPL in any economy ideally provides benefits and protection to SMEs by deterring bigger companies from adopting abusive or other anti-competitive practices such as the imposition of artificial entry barriers to various markets. By capacitating SMEs on CPL knowledge, they can be empowered to use such knowledge to ensure that their interests are protected consequently safeguarding fair competition in the market and facilitating their access to regional and global markets.

Objectives

To build the capacity of SMEs on Competition Policy and Law by:

· Identifying the key issues facing SMEs, the relevance of CPL to address these key issues and focusing the scope of CPL to address anti-competitive conduct in the market.

· Conducting a baseline study, including regulatory impact analysis, that gathers data on issues facing SMEs which can be used by the Department of Justice – Office for Competition (OFC)  and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Council (SMEDC) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to prioritize issues.

· Conducting focus group discussions with key umbrella associations, chambers of commerce, key SME representatives (from law and political sectors)  to discuss the key SME issues and the relevance of CPL to them.

· Conducting seminar workshop to inform umbrella associations, chambers of commerce, key SME representatives (from law and political sectors) and to educate these groups about CPL and why it is important to have a basic working knowledge of this. The workshop aims to come up with an Action Plan of  SMEs on CPL issues.

· Developing a mechanism, i.e., online portal that SMEs, associations and chambers, among others, can use as a central point of reference on CPL and SMEs.

. Publishing and disseminating the results of the Baseline Study and the RIA; further developing the results of the FGDs as Policy Briefs in coordination with appropriate agencies and institutions. These outputs may be shared with other economies via the online portal.

Alignment

The project aims to strengthen and deepen the CPL framework in the proponent economy through an addition of a new dimension – one dealing with its relevance on SMEs, thereby aligning the  project with the 2013 Leaders’ instructions to  advance work on institutional connectivity and regulatory and procedural cooperation coherence among APEC economies, among others, in order to achieve the Bogor Goals by 2020 and to achieve the 2010 Yokohama Vision of “Bogor and Beyond.” 

This is also aligned with the continuing focus of the Leaders to improve SMEs’ global competitiveness and the 2010 APEC Leaders’ Growth Strategy which underlined the importance of promoting SMEs, Micro Enterprises (MEs), and entrepreneurship development. This includes work to encourage a wider range of SME participation in high-growth sectors; to strengthen comprehensive support for SMEs with a coordinated approach between SME agencies and other related agencies. The project further aligns with the ANSSR objectives of achieving strong, sustainable, and balanced growth in the APEC region by promoting more open, well-functioning, transparent and competitive markets through a sustained SME development. 

The project further aligns with the 18th Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting (SMEMM) which recognizes the importance of SMEs and entrepreneurs in the Asia Pacific region by embracing business ethics to enhance the competitiveness of SMEs. A strong CPL framework may be tied to business ethics principles which on the whole creates an enabling business environment, market access, and internationalization that can address critical issues pertaining to the growth of SMEs in the APEC region. 

The project is consistent with the Philippine President’s pronouncement in his 2010 State of the Nation Address, where he emphasized the government’s duty to ensure that the market is fair for all: “no  monopolies, no cartels that kill competition…to afford small- and medium- scale enterprises the opportunity to participate in the growth of our economy.” Corollarily, the promotion of sustained SME development figures prominently in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) for 2011-2016, which has a very specific focus on inclusive growth. By building the capacity of SMEs on CPL, the project facilitates the involvement of SMEs in the larger inclusive growth strategy and necessarily equips and prepares them for regional economic integration.

TILF/ASF Justification

This project, while focused on the proponent economy, is beneficial to the region because the interphase of SMEs and CPL issues is a policy agenda that is relevant to all APEC economies. It is recognized that competition policy is a well-entrenched feature of most APEC economies and yet, little initiative has been done on how SME issues can be integrated into the CPL agenda. This project can be replicated and/or modified  by the other APEC developing economies to reflect their specific policy needs. 

The ANSSR Sub-fund which will provide funding for the project, also specifically aims to benefit developing economies by positively contributing to each developing economies’ effort to achieve their structural reform objectives.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs:  

This project will include the following outputs:

1) Survey/ Needs Assessment Report of how CPL affect SMEs  and come up with a Baseline Study and Regulatory Impact Analysis Report

2) FGDs with different government agencies dealing with SMEs to discuss how SMEs can integrate  the relevance of a well-functioning CPL in nurturing and advancing their growth ;

3) Conduct 2-day seminar workshop for Philippine SMEs and regulators to help ensure SMEs’ awareness of their rights to seek remedies in CPL violations and compliance to regulatory requirements.

4) Develop an Action Plan of SMEs on CPL issues. This will be one of the outputs from the 2-day seminar workshop,

5) Develop an online SME tool for CPL issues and mediation/arbitration/redress procedure to help SMEs have greater access to information on CPL and tools and resources available for resolving disputes on anti-competitive practices, as applicable. 

Outcomes:  

The Survey and Needs Assessment Report of SMEs on CPL issues will provide a baseline study that will help identify key areas of prioritization related to the project. This impacts on policy, behavior and processes by enabling SMEs  appreciate the relevance of CPL on their needs and interests. 

The various FGDs will enable SMEs and different government agencies to have better understanding of the unique requirements of SMEs in relation to CPL in addressing their needs, thus, helping to accommodate the bigger policy objective of protecting/promoting SMEs  within the CPL framework. This redounds – in the long term – to the “sensitization” of SME issues in the implementation of competition laws, as applicable. 

The conduct of seminar workshops will capacitate SMEs in knowing their obligations and claiming their rights pertaining to violations of CPL that affect them. 

The online SME portal on CPL issues will empower SMEs  by increasing their awareness on their rights and obligations as well as encouraging them to explore available remedies, including but not limited to  dispute settlement and/or mediation procedures in the filing of  cases against uncompetitive practices. This online portal will also provide better access for SMEs – whether this be for information, advocacy and/or remedial purposes. 

The expected outputs will accelerate the development and/or harmonization of regional (APEC-wide) CPL that is specifically focused on addressing the concerns of SMEs based on the policy experiences of the Philippines. 

Beneficiaries:  

The direct project participants and users of the outputs will be the SMEs and their umbrella organizations, SME agencies, trade promotion agencies, consumer desks, business registration officers, relevant sector regulators, and  civil society organizations working on SME advocacy. These beneficiaries will directly benefit from both the FGDs (1 day with 4 runs) and the 2-day seminar workshop. 

Further, the regulatory experts, registration officers, chambers of commerce members, SMEDC who will likewise be invited to the FGDs will be able to inform as well provide insights in the discussions  on CPL issues concerning SMEs. 

The DOJ- Office for Competition (OFC) will also benefit from the outputs through enhancement and deepening of knowledge as well as building capacity on the broader dimensions of CPL, particularly focusing on SME issues. A synergy among relevant agencies will be achieved as both the OFC and the DTI work on a project that allows for inter-agency coordination and strengthening of mandates. 

The other APEC economies will also benefit from the project because of ease of replication; they can derive significant benefits from drawing lessons on the experiences and outputs arising from the current proposal. The economies can also easily access the CPL online portal for SMEs as it is relevant to their own specific set of needs and conditions.

Dissemination

The Baseline Study and Action Plan based on the Needs Assessment Report will be shared with APEC EC and APEC SMEWG members for dissemination. The Study will likewise be published and shared with relevant stakeholders. 

The outputs from the focus group discussions and the seminar workshops will be accessible in the APEC website. These outputs will further be disseminated to appropriate institutions for possible development into a set of training design and methodology for knowledge management purposes. 

A quarterly update of the progression of the project will also be made available in the OFC newsletter, OFC Updates, a quarterly electronic publication of the OFC. 

The online SME portal will be a webpage linked to the Department of Justice – Office for  Competition (DOJ-OFC) website, with an icon link seen in the main page of the DOJ website to ensure greater visibility and access. The usage will be promoted and maximized via coordination with the DOJ-OFC’s partner agencies: Sector Regulators Council and Working Groups which will be requested to display the portal icon in their respective websites. In particular, the Tariff Commission, which is a Co-Chair of the DOJ-OFC in its Advocacy Working Group will be tapped to assist in project dissemination.

Gender

The training workshops/ capacity-building seminars will be open to both men and women, with a target of 50% female participation in the said FGDs and seminar workshop. The FGD and workshop administrative circulars will note the importance of the participation of women-owned enterprises. As equal opportunity to participate is provided to APEC members, the speakers/lecturers/experts might also be women from member economies. In ensuring this, the PO may select particular women experts as speakers/lecturers.

The project consultant will be required to include a section on gender approaches in the development of the Baseline study and Regulatory impact assessment report. The consultant will be requested to use gender analysis as part of its methodology in the process of analyzing data and information to ensure that the benefits of the project are effectively and equitably targeted to both men and women.

Work Plan

The work plan is as follows: 

Timeline

2015

Activity

Output

January

RFP

Successful consultant

February – May

Engage two (2) local consultants and one (1) international consultant  to conduct needs assessment/ mapping of CPL issues affecting SMEs

Baseline Study / Mapping Report on CPL issues affecting SMEs

Regulatory Impact Assessment Report

June- July

Conduct four (4) one-day Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) for 25 participants to discuss Baseline study

Validation of work/ identification of  priority areas for seminar workshop

FGD Report : summary of proceedings

Policy briefs/ Reports based on FGD results

August-September

Consultations with appropriate institutions to develop FGD Report into policy brief/ paper

September

Two (2) - day seminar workshop on  CPL to ensure awareness by SMEs of their rights to seek remedies in CPL violations and compliance to regulatory requirements, including mediation and arbitration support for them

SME Action Plan on CPL Issues

October- December

Develop online  SME portal for CPL issues to increase awareness by SMEs on CPL rights and issues 

Interactive online portal that contains key information helpful to SMEs; particularly remedial procedures


Risks

One of the risks related to project implementation is insufficient response from the direct beneficiaries, i.e,  SMEs and SME groups due to lack of awareness and/or appreciation of CPL issues as relevant to their needs and interests. One way of managing this risk is to have a more nuanced and  tailor-fit approach in the conduct of the mapping survey/ baseline questionnaire for the beneficiaries. Further the inadequate, if not lackadaisical participation of the other beneficiaries in the survey process can be remedied by inculcating a deeper sense of project ownership for the said beneficiaries. 

This risk is related to the possibility of having insufficient data gathered by the consultants.  Such risk can however be managed by developing a more immersed approach into the research, study, and mapping exercise conducted by the consultants. 

Another risk is coordination issues among agencies concerned. This can be managed by assigning agency focals to be main points of contact for the project duration. 

Another risk relates to possibility that the online portal may not have as wide an impact as hoped. This risk can be managed by tapping the DOJ-OFC’s partner agencies and other relevant institutions to ensure widest dissemination as possible, particularly the organizations working with SMEs such as the Department of Trade and Industry and the University of the Philippines’ Institute for Small Scale Industries. Social media may likewise be utilized for managed dissemination. Another management technique is to use search engine optimization to position the website prominently for keyword searches on SMEs and CPL. 

Finally, another project risk is low attendance for the two-day seminar workshop. This can be managed by sending invitations and preparing logistical arrangements in advance.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The main indicators of the successful project implementation are: 

Output

Indicators

1. Baseline study /Mapping Report and Regulatory Impact Analysis

When completed;

When validated during the  FGD consultations with target beneficiaries

2. Conduct of FGDs

When conducted; There will be 25 participants for the FGDs. The target is 100% participation.

When evaluated - the participants will also be requested to evaluate the FGD in terms of its content, benefits and effectiveness in achieving its objectives. This will provide information on the diversity of participants and determine women’s participation in the event.

3. Conduct of Seminar workshops

When  conducted; There will be 60 participants for the seminar workshops with 8 international participants from identified APEC  developing economies. The target is 100%.

Action Plan of SMEs - at the end of the seminar workshops

When evaluated - the participants will also be requested to evaluate the seminar workshops in terms of its content, benefits and effectiveness in achieving its objectives. This will provide information on the diversity of participants and determine women’s participation in the event. 

4. Action Plan of SMEs

The participants of the seminar workshop will have to come up with an Action plan for project sustainability and next courses of action.

The participants will present this at the end of the seminar.

5. SME online portal

Around 1-1.5million visitors throughout the duration of the project could indicate project success (Only 1/3 of Philippine population has  internet access which is 32 M. 5% of this is pegged at 1.6 million.

The OFC will monitor the project’s progress. A project timetable will be developed to keep track of the development of the proposed project and ensure its successful and efficient implementation. The OFC, in coordination with relevant agencies and  through the successful consultant,  will also develop an assessment tool to  identify lessons learned and best practices which could later on be used in planning and designing of similar projects. 

Linkages

This project builds on the first ANSSR project, Improving the Capacity of National Competition Authorities of Developing Economies in Competition Policy Assessment and Advocacy. The current proposal however does not duplicate because it focuses the capacity-building activities for SMEs, while strengthening the competition authority’s role and consequently reinforcing the previous project’s sustainability.

During the 2-day seminar workshop, the DOJ-OFC will share the outcomes, experiences and lessons learned from the first ANSSR project, with respect to competition issues in the identified priority sectors of the previous project.

The developing economies which will be invited to the seminar workshops will come from the 2nd category economies as identified by the first ANSSR project. These economies are: Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

The development of the current project proposal may partly be attributed to improved capacity by the DOJ-OFC to propose projects that tackle various nuances of CPL. 

Due to the unique nature of this project, a synergy and convergence among varying mandates is achieved: deepening of the CPL framework through  promotion of the SME agenda. The deepening of CPL capacity among the DOJ-OFC staff is a logical result of the first  ANSSR project which is further sustained in the present proposal.

Sustainability

The project will continue to have impact even after APEC funding because the knowledge gained from the seminar workshops can be translated into plans of action. The Action Plan which will be developed by the target beneficiaries will be owned by them and they can develop strategies on future courses of actions that address their needs.- in relation to how they can maximize CPL knowledge to further their SME agenda. The participant beneficiaries will be considered as “change multipliers and agents of change” in this regard as they are in the best position to sustain the project beyond the implementation period.

The project also employs approaches that are relatively easy to implement and are recognized as being effective and economically sound, in addition to having a strong emphasis on progressive learning and institution-building that enables strengthened application of relevant policies over time. 

Empowerment of SMEs through awareness and knowledge of their rights and obligations in the context of the CPL framework have strategic benefits that go beyond the period of APEC funding.  The output from the FGDs can be used as basis for SME policy development and  further input into the process of implementing existing competition laws. The findings from the Baseline Study can be used as reference for legislative action. 

The online portal will enable SMEs to access key CPL information helpful to them anytime and at their convenience. While information contained in the portal is specifically contextualized to the proponent economy’s conditions, such does not hinder SMEs from other APEC economies to utilize the portal for their own reference.  The online portal makes use of technology to enhance project sustainability and facilitate knowledge transfer.

As stated in the APEC Guidebook, APEC may fund the development of the website but not maintenance after completion of the project. The DOJ-OFC will utilize existing mechanisms at its disposal to maintain the website (with respect to financial and data upkeep)  after project completion to ensure sustainability. The DOJ-OFC will however look into issues of maintenance costs and efficiency two (2) years after project implementation. As project proponent, the DOJ-OFC will be the initial custodian of the portal but relevant agencies will be invited to support the project through maintenance and upkeep, as applicable and necessary.

Since the project benefits a specific sector - the SMEs - the perceived benefits of the seminar workshops and FGDs will have immediate and lasting effect. The project can also be replicated by SME organizations, with assistance from the OFC and with government funding, whenever feasible. 

Further, the ease of replicating the project would enable other economies to come up with their own project agenda that is customized to their needs and specific conditions. 

The results and pertinent documents of the project will be uploaded in the APEC website where member economies can access them for reference on best practices, lessons learned and recommendations for action. To sustain the gains from the workshops after project completion, the OFC  will work closely with selected focal points and stakeholders from the SMEs for purposes of project evaluation and feedback.

Project Overseers

The Project Overseer: 

Name: Geronimo L. Sy

Title: Assistant Secretary

Organization: Department of Justice – Office for Competition

Postal address: Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila, Philippines 1000

Tel: (632) 521 8345, (632) 523 8481 local 222

E-mail: glsy@doj.gov.ph, competition@doj.gov.ph

Point of Contact:

Name: Dashell C. Yancha-Po

Title: State Counsel I

Organization: Department of Justice – Office for Competition

Postal address: Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila, Philippines 1000

Tel: (632) 521 2941; (632) 523 8481 local 388

E-mail: dcypo@doj.gov.ph

Cost Efficiency

 

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

Should the project be approved, we plan to engage the services of an international expert on SMEs and competition policy and two (2) local-based consultants who will work in tandem with the former in all the relevant deliverables of the project. The consultants’ responsibilities include:

1.  Conduct research; consult and validate with SMEs, SME groups and other relevant stakeholders; and facilitate forums and roundtable discussions in connection with the Baseline Study and Regulatory Impact Assessment Report on the impact of CPL issues on SMEs; 

2. Coordinate and consult with appropriate agencies for writing of policy briefs in connection with FGD results;  

3.  Develop concept note and agenda as well as facilitate the two-day training seminar for SMEs and other stakeholders on CPL issues and SMEs, particularly focused on building the awareness of SMEs on their rights to seek remedies for violations of competition laws and informing them about easing their compliance to regulatory requirements. 

4.  Work in coordination with consultant/ developer of online portal as regards its content.  The consultant for the online portal will be responsible for developing  an online tool where SMEs can access information relating to  CPL issues affecting them.  The consultant will also come up with mechanism to help SMEs access remedial tools in resolving disputes through  mediation/arbitration/redress procedures, via the said online portal.

Waivers

Not Applicable.

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
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Version HistoryVersion History

Project No.

Project Title

Project Status

Publication (if any)

Fund Account

Sub-fund

Project Year

Project Session

APEC Funding

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

Sponsoring Forum

Topics

Committee

Other Fora Involved

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

Proposing Economy(ies)

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Expected Start Date

Expected Completion Date

Project Proponent Name 1

Job Title 1

Organization 1

Postal Address 1

Telephone 1

Fax 1

Email 1

Project Proponent Name 2

Job Title 2

Organization 2

Postal Address 2

Telephone 2

Fax 2

Email 2

Declaration

Project Summary

Relevance

Objectives

Alignment

TILF/ASF Justification

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Dissemination

Gender

Work Plan

Risks

Monitoring and Evaluation

Linkages

Sustainability

Project Overseers

Cost Efficiency

Drawdown Timetable

Direct Labour

Waivers

Are there any supporting document attached?

hdFldAdmin

Project Number

Previous Fora

Secretariat Comments

Reprogramming Notes

Consolidated QAF

Endorsement By Fora

PD Sign Off

Batch

Forum Priority

Committee Ranking Category

Committee Priority

PDM Priority

Priority Within Funding Category

Monitoring Report Received

Completion Report Received

PMU Field 1

PMU Field 2

PMU Field 3

On Behalf Of

Proposal Status

Originating Sub-Forum

Approval Status
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