PH 'business-friendly' ranking seen to improve further this year
MANILA -- The National Competitiveness Council (NCC) expressed confidence that the Philippines would be able to improve its ranking in a survey of “business-friendly” countries conducted jointly by the World Bank and the International Finance Corp. (IFC) following the major reforms rolled out by the government and the private sector.
The NCC presented on Thursday a comprehensive list of reforms prepared by the inter-agency Task Force on Ease of Doing Business to simplify business regulatory practices for 2013.
Officials of the NCC led by its chairman Trade Secretary Gregory L. Domingo and private sector Co-Chairman Guillermo M. Luz said the reforms have shortened the time it takes for starting a business (to 11 days from 36) and dealing with construction permits (to 61 days from 84).
They also reported that the time it takes to get electricity has been shortened to 36 days from 50, registration of property (to 23 days from 39), and importation of goods (to 12 days from 14).
These improvements, the NCC said, were accompanied by a decrease in the steps required for starting a business (to 11 steps from 16), dealing with construction permits (to 17 steps from 29), and getting electricity supply (4 steps from 5).
The NCC said the number of tax and contribution payments has also been trimmed down to 14 from 47 through electronic systems.
Reviews of Philippine systems, laws, and cases on credit access and investor protection also pointed toward higher scores on the IFC-constructed indices on depth of credit information, strength of legal rights, extent of disclosure, extent of director liability and ease of shareholder suits.
The Task Force on Ease of Doing Business was established in May by virtue of Administrative Order 38. It developed the reforms based on the “game plan for competitiveness” designed by the NCC to raise Philippine competitiveness rankings to the top third in the world by 2016.
The Philippines is ranked 138th out of 185 economies and eighth of nine Asean countries in the 2013 Doing Business Report of the World Bank-IFC.
The World Bank report measured the ease with which a business undertakes 10 processes with government agencies and other institutions over its typical life cycle.
The next Ease of Doing Business Report is expected to come out in October.
NCC officials called on the private sector and the public to “test” the reforms rolled out and provide recommendations on how they can be further improved.