Aquino’s Reformist Politics and the Competition Act: Understanding the Vision of “Inclusive Growth” through the Legislation of the Comprehensive Competition Law

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Other Title
  • アキノの改革政治と競争法―包括的競争法成立にみる「包摂的成長」のビジョン
  • アキノ ノ カイカク セイジ ト キョウソウホウ : ホウカツテキ キョウソウホウ セイリツ ニ ミル 「 ホウセツテキ セイチョウ 」 ノ ビジョン

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Abstract

<p>This paper argues why the Competition Act was successfully enacted during the Aquino administration. Focusing on its political factors, the paper also illuminates the significance of Aquino’s reformist politics and the implication of his vision of “inclusive growth.”</p><p>The legislation of the Act was made possible by three elements. First, at the macro level, taking advantage of establishing the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015, the Aquino administration set the political goal of “inclusive growth,” which aimed to confront “growth without employment” that came to light during the Arroyo administration. The Act was included in it as an important part. Second, at the micro level, Senator Bam Aquino, who had been addressing issues of SMEs, became the main author of the bill, promoted it skillfully in Congress, and persuaded those who are cautious. Third, in the economic dimension, having experienced high economic growth and some foreign direct investment since the mid-2000s, Filipino conglomerates, who had been the opposition force to competition bills since the 1990s, begun to acknowledge the necessity of reforming economic rules and old business practices.</p><p>Based on this analysis, the paper broadens the argument and points out several aspects of Aquino’s reformist politics. First, the government showed it is essential to foster SMEs as well as infrastructure development to overcome the weakness of job creation, which has been a structural problem of the Philippine economy for a long time. Second, the government recognized that removing various entry barrios and monopoly is inevitable to foster SMEs and it should be done not only by deregulation, which had been a central measure to revitalize economy, but by the government’s active intervention. Third, to eliminate corruption and personalistic politics, the administration promoted political participation of civil society organizations and tried to advance transparency and accountability and strengthen rule of law.</p><p>Although Aquino and Duterte look contrasting leaders, the Duterte administration largely took over Aquino’s reformist direction including the competition policy. Therefore, to understand political changes in the Philippines from now on, Aquino’s reformist politics must be referred to as its unignorable stage.</p>

Journal

  • Asian Studies

    Asian Studies 67 (2), 1-20, 2021-04-30

    Japan Association for Asian Studies

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