President Benigno Aquino 3rd has created an inter-agency task force that will implement reforms to make it easier to do business in the Philippines, a Palace official said.
In a statement, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. said the President signed
Administrative Order 38 for the creation of Task Force on Ease of Doing Business (EODB Task Force) to be led by Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo.
The task force will push for an action plan drafted by the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) in hopes of raising the country’s rank in the World Bank’s annual Doing Business survey.
”The EODB Task Force is seen to significantly help improve our ranking in the survey since it is tasked to ensure the full implementation of the Gameplan for Competitiveness designed by the NCC and endorsed by the Economic Development Cluster,” Ochoa said.
Other members of the task force will include representatives from the NCC; the departments of Finance, Interior and Local Government, and Justice; bureaus of Internal Revenue, and Customs; Land Registration Authority; Credit Information Corp.; Securities and Exchange Commission; Social Security System; Home Development Mutual Fund; and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp.
Currently, the Philippines ranks 138th out of 185 countries in the world, and is eight out of the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) in the Doing Business Survey (DBS) of the World Bank International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Ochoa said that the task force will work on reforms in various government agencies in line with the indicators tracked by the Doing Business survey.
The survey tracks business regulations on the following: starting businesses; dealing with construction permits; getting electricity; registering property; getting credit; protecting investors; paying taxes; trading across borders; enforcing contracts; and resolving insolvency.
The EODB Task Force will also recommend to the President measures improving the ease of doing business in the country, and will submit a report to the Office of the President through the Economic Development Cluster 60 days from the issuance of the AO and every six months thereafter.
AO 38 takes effect immediately.
Catherine S. Valente