Ease of Doing Business Law seen to impact PH ranking in 2020 yet
The Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Act can significantly improve the country’s global competitiveness ranking in the 2020 survey yet and if government agencies strictly implement the law, according to a top trade official.
Trade and Industry Undersecretary Rowel S. Barba in a speech at the “Accelerating EODB Reform Initiatives for the Doing Business 2020 Strategy” workshop, said the Ease of Doing Business/Efficient Government Service Delivery Act can help the Philippines improve and even move forward in several indicators of the Doing Business Survey Report.
“RA 11032 (EODB Act) is now in place. If we implement this law to the letter, there is no doubt we can close the gap between us and the frontier,” he said. The Philippines' current ranking in the global report is 113th place after it slipped from 99th place.
According to the World Bank Doing Business Survey, the distance to frontier (DTF) score benchmarks economies with respect to regulatory best practice, showing the absolute distance to the best performance on each Doing Business indicator. An economy’s distance to frontier is reflected on a scale from 0 to 100, where 0 represents the lowest performance and 100 represents the frontier.
Barba said that based on the 2018 report, the country needs to improve on indicators the Philippines scored lowest, namely: (1) Getting Credit (DTF score: 30); (2) Protecting minority investors (DTF score: 40); and (3) Enforcing Contracts (DTF score: 46).
Undersecretary Barba, who also heads DTI’s Competitiveness and Ease of Doing Business Group (CEODBG), called on agencies involved in these indicators to seriously identify significant reforms that would improve the country’s position and move it closer to those at the frontier.
To date, there are already indicators where the Philippines is at the “frontier” in ASEAN, namely: Procedures in Getting electricity; Cost of Getting electricity; and Strength of insolvency framework under Enforcing contracts.
The Undersecretary also issued the reminder to stakeholders to prepare for the 2020 survey, amidst the expected release of the 2019 DB report this month. He underscored that reforms must be in place from May 1, 2018 to May 1, 2019.
Under the law, a simple application should be approved within three days, the complex in 7 days and the highly technical in 20 days. There are extension of 20-45 days depending on the nature of the application. Applications not acted upon within the prescribed period are deemed approved.
‘’We need to do a massive information campaign to inform the public about the reforms that government has already undertaken,” Barba said, adding that there is a need for “radical and transformative reforms so that the Philippines can leapfrog forward in the survey.”
The Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Bill that amended Republic Act 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007.