31 January 2017

Palace welcomes decline of crime victims
A Malacañan official on Tuesday, January 31, welcomed the recent Social Weather Station (SWS) showing a decline in the number of Filipinos who fell victims to crimes.

“We welcome the results of the Fourth Quarter 2016 Social Weather Station survey showing the people’s sentiment that there was a decline in crime victimization, specifically, the results indicated that families who said they were victimized and lost property to street robbery, burglary, or carnapping registered at 4.5 percent, surpassing the previous quarterly record of 5.5 percent in March and June 2016,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said at a press briefing.

Abella noted that the same survey also indicated that 52 percent of respondents agreed that the number of drug addicts in their respective communities has decreased compared to 56 percent in the previous quarter.

Relatedly, Abella also announced that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has conducted its pilot activity for the reintegration of the drug surrenderees in the community.

“Last January 27, the Department of Social Welfare and Development coordinated with the local government unit, LGU of Talisay, Batangas which led the conduct of ‘Linis Bayan’,” he said.

Linis Bayan is a community clean-up campaign aims to reintegrate rehabilitated drug users in the community by involving them in various activities, which would be beneficial to their neighborhood.

Abella said the DSWD plans to implement Linis Bayan in other cities and municipalities as part of the government’s efforts to solve drug problem in the country.

Meanwhile, at the same press briefing, Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) Chairman Arsenio Balisacan discussed the primary role of his agency, which is to enforce and implement the provisions of Republic Act No. 10667, otherwise known as the Philippine Competition Act (PCA), in time for their first year anniversary.

Balisacan, who served as the Socio-Economic Planning Secretary and concurrently the director general of the National Economic and Development Authority during the previous administration, underscored the importance of his agency, a quasi-judicial body, in ensuring an efficient market and providing a level-playing field among businesses in the country.

“This is our task in the PCC, promoting fair competition in Philippine markets. When there are safeguards for market competition, economic growth is more rapid and sustainable, as the pressure of competition enhances efficiency and productivity growth in all businesses, industries or areas of the country,” he said adding that his agency’s mandate is relevant to the development agenda of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

“Greater productivity of businesses means that Filipinos benefit through higher incomes from having more and better quality jobs. When businesses compete, consumers benefit further through lower prices, better quality of goods and services and more choices in markets,” he added.

He stressed that protecting market competition will grow the economy and it will make growth more poverty-reducing and inclusive.

Balisacan cited certain practices that consumers and businesses should be protected from in order to level the playing field such as cartels, price fixing and bid rigging.

As a new agency, Balisacan said he would try to inform and educate the public about the task of his commission in order for them to know more about the illegal practices of businesses that should be brought to their attention.###PND