By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez has expressed confidence of improved ranking in the 2019 Ease of Doing Business Survey following the implementation of reforms reducing bureaucratic red tape in doing business in the country.
Lopez reported during a meeting with World Bank and International Finance Corp. (WB-IFC) Doing Business topic team leaders Atty. Nadine Abi Chakra and Mr. Nuno Filipe Mendes Dos Santos of the reform initiatives that have been implemented to ease doing business.
These reforms include the online registration for companies at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); the Single Window Transaction Project of Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR); and the One Stop Shops for Business Permit in Quezon City.
The Single Window Transaction at BIR will make it easier for an applicant to submit requirements and get a Certification of Registration and Authority printed.
At the local level, the One Stop Shops for Business Permit by the Quezon City Government significantly reduces the number of steps and days to get business permits by co-locating the Business Permits and Licensing Office, the Zoning Office, the Treasurer’s Office, and the Bureau of Fire Protection. This eliminates the need to go to various offices to submit requirements and get permits.
According to Lopez, these measures will reduce the procedures in starting a business from 16 steps to 10, and shorten the processing time from 28 days to 16.
“With these reforms, we are optimistic that investors will be keen on expanding their businesses in the country and provide more jobs for Filipinos,” said Lopez.
The WB-IFC survey team is in the country for a week-long validation of Philippine initiatives.
The Doing Business Report is an annual survey published by the World Bank-International Finance Corporation that measures and ranks the ease and cost of doing business in 190 economies.
“We already succeeded in eliminating bottlenecks and streamlining procedures. The challenge now is how to fully implement automation and interconnectivity at all levels of government,” trade chief added.
The Philippines hopes to improve on its ranking, 113th place out of 190 economies, in the 2018 Doing Business Report. Particularly, the country ranked 173rd in starting a business, 149th in enforcing contracts, 146th in protecting minority investors and 142nd in getting credit. The Doing Business Task Force is the inter-agency group mandated to initiate, implement, and monitor the ease of doing business reforms in the country.