The Philippines suffered a six-notch drop in this year’s rankings by the World Bank in terms of the overall ease of doing business in the country, prompting a government body to question the new methodology used in producing the results.
The country ranked 103rd in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2015 Report, sliding from 97th place the previous year, the International Finance Corp. (IFC) told reporters in a briefing on Wednesday.
In particular, the report showed the Philippines sliding in the indicators for: starting a business (to 165 from 157), dealing with construction permits (to 99 from 94), registering property (to 112 from 110), getting credit (to 109 from 105), protecting minority investors (to 155 from 154), paying taxes (to 126 from 125), trading across borders (to 95 from 94), enforcing contracts (to 140 from 139), and resolving insolvency (to 53 from 50).
The World Bank explained that the country’s 97th ranking last year was a revision of its original 95th rank as a result of the refinement of its methodology to improve its measurement of the performance of each country in terms of the set criteria.
“This year, the Development Economics team of the World Bank Group has decided to include measures of the quality of the implementation, rather than just the presence of the regulations themselves,” IFC Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice Group Operations Officer Roberto Galang said.
Reacting to the World Bank report, the Philippines’ National Competitiveness Council (NCC) said the changes to the methodology caused confusion and doubt over the reliability of the measurements used.
“Despite our efforts to introduce reform projects to improve the ease of doing business in the Philippines, IFC shows different sets of scores and rankings every year due to a change in methodology,” Guillermo Luz, co-chair of the NCC said during the briefing.
“The changes are applied retroactively so even prior years’ results are changed without our knowledge. This makes it difficult to tell whether we are on the right track or not using this instrument. It has become unreliable,” he added.