Home » 3PL/4PL, Customs & Trade, Ports/Terminals » PH ranking in ease of doing business plummets

The Philippine government is reaffirming its commitment to accelerate reforms aiming to improve the ease of doing business as the country fell 14 places to 113th position out of 190 economies in the World Bank’s latest Ease of Doing Business report.

The Washington-based lender’s latest report, “Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs,” showed that while the Philippines’ score improved marginally to 58.74 this year from 58.32 in the previous year, the country’s rank slid down from 99th position in the 2017 report, reflecting that other economies had made larger improvements.

The annual report measures regulatory quality and efficiency based on 10 indicators applied to regulations concerning ease of doing business in the life cycle of a business. These pillars are starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency.

The Philippines improved only in paying taxes (ranked 105th from 115th)—but lagged in the nine other indicators. The paying taxes rank improved as a result of the Home Development Mutual Fund and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation setting up electronic payment systems, according to the National Competitiveness Council (NCC), the public-private sector task force on Philippine competitiveness.

The nine other indicators where the country needs to improve are starting a business (down to 173rd from 171st); dealing with construction permits (101st from 85th); getting electricity (31st from 22nd); registering property (114th from 112nd); getting credit (142nd from 118th); protecting minority investors (146th from 137th); trading across borders (99th from 95th); enforcing contracts (149th from 136th); and resolving insolvency (59th from 56th).

According to the latest report, the time it takes to complete documentary requirements for exports remains at 72 hours and that for border compliance is still 42 hours. Export cost is still US$509. For imports, completion of documentary requirements remains at 96 hours and border compliance at 72 hours. Cost for import is still $630.

NCC said the decline in the country’s rank may mean that reforms in some of these areas are not yet felt by the users of the frontline services, “suggesting the need to improve the implementation of improvements in the system.”

NCC added that there is also a need to pass new legislation and amendments to existing ones covering a number of important indicators.

To improve the country’s ranking, NCC said the government will undertake or is undertaking the following projects: Amendment of the Corporation Code to allow for single-person corporations and eliminate minimum capital requirements; shortening and automating by the Securities and Exchange Commission of the incorporation process; passing of the new Expanded Anti-red Tape Act; operationalizing this year of the Philippine Business Registry, an online system for entrepreneurs to register corporations and single proprietorships and application for licences; development of the Philippine Business Data Bank, a database of all business enterprises; setting up of an automated credit information system by the Credit Information Corporation; setting up of a Collateral Registry for real estate, machinery and movables; completion of the electronic courts system by the Supreme Court; and finalizing of a joint memorandum circular between concerned government agencies and NCC on streamlining the process for construction permits.

Another project seen to help boost the country’s competitiveness is TradeNet, which will function as the country’s National Single Window (NSW), a requirement to connect to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Single Window (ASW). The target is to launch the online platform, which will automate import and export application processes and streamline customs procedures by December this year.

“Improving ease of doing business in the Philippines is an endeavour that involves the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of government. It is a whole-of-government effort. As the Philippines belongs in a region of economies that are clocking in big gains in  this area, the Duterte administration commits to strengthen its efforts to introduce reforms and streamline processes to spur this country forward and to improve its global ranking in Ease of Doing Business,” NCC said.

Image courtesy of yodiyim at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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