PH jumps 30 notches in ease of doing business

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Doing business is more fun in the Philippines as the country’s ranking in ease of doing business jumped by 30 notches, according to the latest joint report from the World Bank and International Finance Corp.

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Doing Business 2014: Understanding Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprise, showed that out of 189 economies, the Philippines ranked 108th in ease of doing business from its 138th ranking last year.

The country recorded the largest jump in the world this year and among the 10 economies which made the biggest improvement in business regulation over the past year.

The Philippines made improvements in seven out of 10 indicators from only three indicators last year.

Gains were seen in the areas of resolving insolvency, getting credit, getting electricity, paying taxes, trading across borders, dealing with construction permits and registering property.

The report noted regulatory reforms the government had implemented in the areas of business regulations, including paying taxes and dealing with construction permits.

One of the reforms cited is the introduction of a fully operational online filing and paying social security contributions, which made paying taxes easier for companies.

Second is the amendment to the Quezon City Revenue in June 2012or simplifying occupancy clearances, which made it easier to obtain construction permit. Third is the new regulation that guarantee borrowers’ right to access their credit data.

According to World Bank Country Director Motoo Konishi, improvements in the Philippine business regulations showed its commitment to inclusive growth that generates more and better jobs and reduces poverty.

“The private sector, especially small and medium enterprises, has a key role to play in generating quality jobs. It can only perform this role if regulations are simpler, more transparent, easy to comply with and fair for firms of all size,” he added.

Significant turnaround

Meanwhile, for its part, the National Competitiveness Council of the Philippines (NCCP) said that the overall improvement of the country’s ranking is a “significant turnaround” from a stalemate in the last three years and was the result of teamwork and concentrated efforts of various agencies of the government.

“We are pleased with the performance this year. It’s the best in 11 years coming off in three years of virtually no change,” NCCP Co-Chairman Guillermo Luz said.

On the other hand, the Doing Business report noted that Singapore continues to provide the world’s most business-friendly regulatory environment for local entrepreneurs, followed by Hong Kong SAR, China.

In the past year, 15 of 25 economies in East Asia and the Pacific implemented at least one regulatory reform making it easier to do business.

It also found that since 2005, 22 of 23 economies in East Asia and the Pacific have made their regulatory environment more business-friendly. Among the region’s economies, China made the greatest progress during that time in improving business regulations for local entrepreneurs.

Doing Business report analyzes regulations that apply to an economy’s businesses during their life cycle, including start-up and operations, trading across borders, paying taxes, and resolving insolvency. The report does not measure all aspects of the business environment that matter to firms and investors. MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO

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