PH takes a giant leap in ‘Doing Business’ rankings from World Bank

PH takes a giant leap in ‘Doing Business’ rankings from World Bank
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez addresses the 7th Regional Competitiveness Summit at the Philippine International Convention Center Plenary Hall, in Pasay City, last October 24 Photo By Monsi A. Serrano/THEPHILBIZNEWS

Text and photos by Monsi A. Serramo

World Bank released the ease of doing business wherein the Philippines taking a big leap from from 124th place to 95th, based in the World Bank’s “Doing Business 2020” report released yesterday, October 24.

Department of Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez was very happy to announce during the 7th Regional Competitiveness Summit held yesterday, October 24 at the PICC Plenary Hall in Pasay City.

“Now I can announce. It’s 10AM and the (news) embargo is already lifted. After all the challenges we had last year when we questioned the ranking of the Philippines in doing business, we just decided to focus after we informed them that we question the ranking as the missed out other factors,” the Trade Chief said.

“The good news is, the Philippines jumped to the 95th spot from 124th place in 2019… 29 notches and the country’ score improved to 62.8 from 60.9 previously,” Lopez happily announced.

Participants from various local government units from the Philippines and other guests gladly clapped as this good news about Philippines’ ranking in Doing Business 2020 from World Bank was revealed.

Interestingly,  the Philippines ranked below Singapore (2nd), Hong Kong (3rd), Malaysia (12th), Taiwan (15th), Thailand (21st), China (31st), Brunei (66th), Vietnam (70th), Indonesia (73rd) and Mongolia (81st) in the South East Asian region.

This World Bank annual report has taken into consideration the various facets in governance of a country such as regulations, process and other improvement developed by a country to make it more business friendly.

Media Briefing on PH 29 notches in WB 2020 Report

During the media briefing scheduled by the DTI on more detailed result of the Philippines “Doing Business World Bank 2020 report, the Trade Secretary underscored that whatever ranked we have achieved now is a collaboration of the government with various agencies in both public and private sectors.

“Following the lead of President Duterte, he really wants to make it easy for others to do business across the nation. So we have been thinking of so many ways, and that is why we tapped the best agencies in the private sectors and also look within the public sectors of who would be the ones who can make this plan a reality,” Lopez explained.

“In the local government, we have tapped he Quezon City for the Philippines to be our reference on how they do things in their locality. From building permit and other requirements, they have been doing well,” the Trade Chief added.

One of the main reasons why Philippines was recognized for working very well in doing business easier was the law was crafted to abolish the minimum capital requirement for domestic companies.

Others who joined the media briefing are representatives from the government side are Securities and Exchange Commission, ARTA (Anti-Red Tape Act), Supreme Court, Department of Finance, Land Regulation Authority, Quezon City Hall, Pag-IBIG, PhilHealth, SSS.

From private sectors are  – MERALCO, CIC, TransUnion, BAP Credit Inc., CRIF, Compuscan and from NGO is the World Bank.

Lopez pointed out, “The public-private partnership continues to work in improving the rank of the Philippines in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business aims to cover various common issues in the business such as starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency and logistics services sector.”

When asked if in the next year we will improve our rank further, Lopez said, “Yes that is our aim”.

While the Trade Chief acknowledges that the gap is still wide, he is optimistic that this vision is achievable.

“Look, we heard the various representatives from the government sectors and what are the innovations that they have been doing to embark on making the Philippines investment haven,” Lopez added.

“Every issue on the process is being addressed now. Look at SEC. Last year they really admitted they have a problem in the online registration system. But now they embark on EASY ON SEC. The DTI LGU and DICT will continue to look for reforms and long term outcome on the national business “One Stop Shop”

per sector,” said Lopez before he ended the media briefing.

Talking to THEPHILBIZNEWS, the Trade Chief was asked if he was surprised on the new improved ranking of the Philippines and said this welcome development news did not come as a surprise to him. 

“The ease of doing business in the Philippines is something we have been longing to do, and with the help of various agencies in both private and public sectors, the improvement is really bound to happen”, Lopez.

LRA rolls out digitalization

Others who briefly presented their remarkable ease of doing business improvement are Deputy Administrator Ronald Ortile of the Land Registration Authority.

The LRA official speaking to THEPHILBIZNEWS said, “We want the Filipino people to know that in the new age of digitalization, gone are the days where one has to come to the locality to get or verify a property.”

“The LRA has a comprehensive and functional database to check for encumbrances. We also initiated the digitalizations of all land titles. So, when someone needs to check something about a particular issue on a property, they do not have to go to the particular place where the property is registered to find out about charges or privileges or issues affecting the registered property,” Ortile explained.

Land Registration Authority Deputy Administrator Ronald Ortile during the media briefing at the PICC Plenary Hall last October 24 in Pasay City
(Photo by Monsi A. Serrano/THEPHILBIZNEWS)

“We really made sure it is user friendly.  LRA can now use the property number to search the title and obtain information of the property so whether you are a buyer or seller, you got information at hand when that would pave way for you to make an informed decision without going through the cumbersome and tiring process of visiting the place and personally do the checking which is really time consuming” the LRA Deputy Administrator added.

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