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Philippines poised to continue ease of doing business reforms

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Despite the World Bank announcement on the discontinuation of its Doing Business Report, the Philippines will pursue reforms in ease of doing business.

The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) said the country will now have a “localized version of the Doing Business Report” of the World Bank by launching the Philippine Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Reporting System.

“We believe that what the World Bank has been doing is good for the country’s competitiveness ranking,” ARTA deputy director general Ernesto Perez said during the EODB Summit in Quezon City Thursday.

Perez said the Philippine EODB Reporting System will adopt World Bank’s previous Doing Business Report methodology including the 10 indicators—Starting a Business, Dealing with Construction Permits, Getting Electricity, Registering Property, Getting Credit, Protecting Minority Investors, Paying Taxes, Trading Across Borders, Enforcing Contracts, and Resolving Insolvency.

“We will apply it locally to the Philippine situation. From the 10 indicators, we will choose those we need immediately like Starting a Business, Getting Electricity, and (Dealing with) Construction Permit,” he told the Philippine News Agency.

Perez added that the Philippine EODB Reporting System will adopt the World Bank methodology by phase, but initially apply the aforementioned three indicators as well as Trading Across Borders and Registering Property.

The scope of the localized EODB survey will be expanded to other key metropolitan areas aside from Quezon City, which is the country’s focus for the World Bank’s Doing Business Report.

The ARTA official said the Philippines has prepared 102 reform initiatives and 23 data corrections for the World Bank’s Doing Business Report for next year before it was halted in September this year.

The most numbers of reforms were in Dealing with Construction Permits with 44, followed by Starting a Business and Trading Across Borders with 15 each, Enforcing Contracts with 10, Getting Credit with six, Registering Property with five, Getting Electricity with four, Paying Taxes with two, and one reform initiative on Protecting Minority Investors.

On the other hand, the 23 data corrections involved Dealing with Construction Permits, Getting Electricity, Protecting Minority Investors, Resolving Insolvency, and Registering Property.

If the World Bank pursued its Doing Business Report for next year, Perez said these reforms and data corrections made by the Philippines will leapfrog its position between ranks 60th and 70th.In the 2020 report, the Philippines climbed 29 notches to 95th place from 124th in 2019.

“Investors look at our competitiveness ranking in their decision to invest in the country or not. Because investors would like their investments to be protected and once they come in, that their return of investments is secured. We want to provide a healthy business environment that will generate more employment opportunities, improve our country-wide development, and of course our inclusive growth,” Perez said.

Source: https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1162264

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