THE National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has called on lawmakers to appraise laws and other regulations in a detailed and systemic way to eliminate obstacles to competitiveness and growth.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan made the statement in a position paper submitted in response to Senate Resolution 170 and Senate Resolution 696 by Senators Miriam DefensorSantiago and Grace Poe, respectively.
Senate Resolution 170 is calling for a Senate inquiry on strengthening the Philippines’ capabilities in doing business according to World Bank (WB) standards and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Meanwhile, Senate Resolution 696 is a proposal to review existing laws to consider the repeal of duplicate, irrelevant, and unnecessary regulations to streamline procedures, ease the cost of doing business and sustain economic growth.
Ineffective and counterproductive laws and regulations must be repealed to boost Philippine competitiveness and encourage investments, said Balisacan, who is also the NEDA director general.
“Existing regulations that are not responsive towards improving the
ease of doing business in the country should be reviewed and amended.
Also, proposed laws and regulations that impede trade, investment, and economic efficiency should be eliminated,” the Cabinet official said.
The NEDA chief noted the Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIA) and other such tools and mechanisms are important in determining whether a law or regulation is effective in achieving its stated objectives.
Countries that have used RIA, such as Malaysia and Mexico, have proven that the method is effective in improving regulations and in addressing issues of competitiveness and economic performance.
Countries that have applied RIA have consistently fared well in ease of doing business rankings, Balisacan said.
“Many laws are well-intentioned, but turn out to be counterproductive or unenforceable. Some have already become irrelevant or outdated,” he noted.
Through regulatory impact assessments the government can ensure that laws and regulations are responsive to the country’s needs and do not impose unnecessary costs, he said.
“This is why we support the institutionalization of this procedure in the government,” he said.
The NEDA is now going through capacity development activities on RIA, including the drafting of an RIA Manual. The undertaking is being done in line with the technical assistance program of the Asian Development Bank on “Increasing Competitiveness for Inclusive Growth.” The Departments of Tourism and of Labor and Employment are part of this exercise.
Apart from including the Implementing Rules and Regulations and relevant department orders or memorandum circulars in the review, the NEDA also proposed including a mandatory review clause in the proposed laws, regulations or other issued orders.
This would allow for a timely review of their applicability and affectivity and consider if these should be continued, amended, or abolished.