The Philippines may have slipped in the latest ease of doing business rankings but the government is keeping to a target of hitting the top 20 percent by 2020, a Cabinet official said.
“That will still be the target. To be [in]the top 20 percent to be more realistic. At least before the end of the Duterte administration we should be hitting that number,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez told reporters on Thursday.
The World Bank on Tuesday released its latest Doing Business report, which placed the Philippines in 113th place out of 190 economies, down 14 notches from last year.
Across the 10 indicators used in determining the overall rankings, the country only placed in the upper 50 percent in terms of getting electricity (31st) and resolving insolvency (59th).
It was in the bottom half for the rest, starting with trading across borders (99th), dealing with construction permits (101st), paying taxes (105th ), registering property (114th), getting credit (142nd), protecting minority investors (146th), and enforcing contracts (149th).
The Philippines’s worst ranking was in the starting a business indicator where it was in 173rd place.
“For us to leapfrog … to do that, realistically we cannot reach it one year. Within the next two to three years, we will be seeing drastic results to the extent that we improve on the indicators and we are able to legislate,” Lopez said.
He said the planned reforms would include the amendment of the Corporation Code to allow single person corporations and the elimination of minimum capital requirements that can be retained in other laws, and also the approval of the Expanded Anti-Red Tape Act.
“Definitely we expect some improvement, hopefully we can get back the 14 notches that we lost,” Lopez said.
Congressional approval of needed legislation, he added, “would be a big help.”