Ease of Do­ing Busi­ness Law seen to im­pact PH rank­ing in 2020 yet

Manila Bulletin - - Business - By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT ROWEL S. BARBA

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.

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