The Philippines is now one of the top 100 most competitive countries in the world for doing business as it has implemented more regulatory reforms to improve its business climate.

The World Bank recently released its Doing Business 2020 report indicating the Philippines’ sharp improvement of 29 notches in the global rankings of the ease of doing business to 95th from 124th among 190 economies.

This makes the country one of the top three high jumpers among the economies covered by the study.

The Philippines recorded the highest both in rank and Ease of Doing Business (EODB) score of 62.8 this year from 57.68 last year, among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) members.

“The Philippines performed best in getting credit, protecting minority investors, and dealing with construction permits.”

In a press briefing, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the Philippines “performed best” in getting credit, protecting minority investors, and dealing with construction permits.

The World Bank said the country made dealings with construction permits easier by improving coordination and streamlining the process for obtaining an occupancy certificate.

It also strengthened minority investor protections by requiring greater disclosure of transactions with interested parties and enhancing director liability for transactions with interested parties, it said.

Lopez said the country also registered higher scores in paying taxes, and slightly higher scores on enforcing contracts and registering property.

“The BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue), which under the TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion) law, simplified the income tax returns for corporations which reduced the number of hours in the preparation and filing of corporate income tax from 38 to 24 hours,” the trade chief said.

On enforcing contracts, Lopez credits the Supreme Court for the efforts and the “speed of action” on the reforms to reduce the time and cost of resolving a standardized commercial dispute.

On registering property, Lopez said an electronic database is now being implemented following the initiative by the Land Registration Authority (LRA) to digitize all land titles.

“When a background check of a property is required, LRA can now use the property number to search the title and obtain information of all encumbrances, caveats, charges or privileges affecting the registered property,” Lopez said.

He underscored the need for the country to implement more reform initiatives to further significantly improve its global rankings of the ease of doing business to 70th next year.

“We need to unite and be prepared to institute ‘game-changers’ that will enable enterprises to become more competitive and the country more attractive to investors, whether local and foreign,” Lopez said.

“We have to be more aggressive in pushing for more reforms to facilitate the growth of our industries and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). At the same time, these reforms should bring convenience to the lives of our fellow Filipino,” he added.

“While many of the reforms require gestation, but we are confident that soon they will bear fruit.”

Lopez said while many of the “reforms require gestation, but we are confident that soon they will bear fruit. Automation, strict implementation of RA 11032, new regulations are underway.”

Republic Act No. 11032, known as the “Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018”, effectively amends the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA) which seeks to promote ease of doing business in the country by cutting red tape in government agencies that delay the delivery of responsive services.

As the ARTA prepares for Doing Business 2021, Lopez said they are looking at various priorities, including the Philippines business portal, online corporate registration system, unified employee reporting system for Social Security Agencies, property registration portal, and modern collateral registry. 


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