Philippines rates poorly on ease in doing business

October 24, 2011 at 10:52

The Philippines dropped further behind other emerging markets in the region when it fell two notches in the global ranking on ease of doing business in the country, based on the International Financial Corp.’s latest survey.

In the IFC’s 2012 Doing Business Survey, the Philippines ranked 136th among 183 economies.

According to IFC, a unit of the World Bank, procedures and regulations in establishing and operating a business in the Philippines have not changed significantly over the one-year period. The country’s ranking also fell because other economies improved their business environments to make it easier for companies to set up shop in their countries.

Singapore ranked first as far as ease of doing business was concerned. Hong Kong, New Zealand, the United States and Denmark rounded up the top five in that order.

The Philippines’ ranking was way below than that of Thailand (17th), Malaysia (18th), Taiwan (25th) and Vietnam (98) and was closest to Indonesia (129th).

Ranking is determined by the following factors: ease in starting up a business, securing construction permits, getting electricity, registering properties, getting credit, investor protection, tax payments, trading across borders, enforcement of contracts and resolving insolvency.

Apart from “getting electricity” (where the country ranked 54th) and “trading across borders (51st),” the Philippines rated poorly, breaching the 100-mark, in all other areas.

The National Competitiveness Council (NCC), a group of government officials and private sector representatives tasked with improving the country’s competitiveness, said it would work on measures to significantly improve the country’s ranking over the next five years.

The group hopes that, over the next five years, the Philippines’ ranking would have improved to 50th or better, Guillermo Luz, co-chairman of NCC, said in a briefing Thursday.

“This means that we are targeting to improve our ranking by 10 to even 20 notches every year over the next five years,” Luz said.

The NCC is now pursuing a “simplification program” under which processes and requirements would be substantially reduced, he explained.

For instance, NCC has set a goal to reduce the number of forms that an entity must accomplish to set up a business from multiple to just one form. Moreover, signatories will be reduced from multiple to just two, and the number of steps to put up a business from multiple to just five.

Luz said the NCC has started conducting meetings with concerned officials of local government units across the country to brief them on the suggested regulatory and administrative reforms.

IFC said it was willing to extend more assistance to the Philippines to help the country improve its rankings.

Jesse Ang, head of IFC for the Philippines, said in the same press conference that the organization has been allocating $300 million to $400 million in assistance to the Philippines ever year.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer, October 21, 2011
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