“Leaping over 29 other countries from 124th to 95th in the World Bank (WB) ranking because of our Ease of Doing Business (EODB) law is truly noteworthy. Congress has hurdled major stumbling blocks and we are hoisting that as a challenge to the whole of government,” said Senate Majority Leader Migz Zubiri, the major author and sponsor of the Ease of Doing Business Act (RA No. 11032).
“The WB recognized our major legislative accomplishments which impacted immediately on starting a business, securing construction permits, protection of minority investors and paying taxes, but not necessarily on improved collection efficiency and administration. As of last year, the Bureau of Internal Revenue suffered from weak interconnection to hardware meltdown during tax deadlines,” Zubiri added.
The veteran legislator emphasized that “all government agencies have been tasked to improve and speed up delivery of services. We have even provided for stringent penalties for non-compliance. However, making a go of our economic and social aspirations calls on all government frontline and regulatory agencies, not just a few, to adhere to the framework of the EODB.”
“We have to erase all red tape to achieve economic growth and eliminate poverty.”
“We have to erase all red tape to achieve economic growth and eliminate poverty. That’s the basic step to push business activities and delivery of social goods to our people. While I note the enhanced Anti-Red Tape Authority as critical to our continued success, there remains much to be done,” the seasoned lawmaker noted.
The senator stressed that “all national and local agencies are expected to connect to the government data center of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, an important part of raising efficiency in the delivery of government services. We have tasked it to create a Central Business Portal for faster government transactions. As of now, only 160 agencies in Metro Manila and 15 in Cebu are connected to it. That’s a significant lag in implementation noting that more than one year has passed since the EODB enactment.”
“Likewise, we may have enabled entrepreneurs to set up a business fast, but the provision of critical public services and infrastructure like power, water, telecommunications and transportation are dependent on the activism of the Executive especially of regulatory agencies. Additionally, setting up Mom and Pops enterprises is now faster but enlarging their customer base also depends on the Executive’s wage and job generation strategies,” he pointed out.
“I am happy at this recognition because it will definitely bring us to the top of the agenda of investors from which our economic managers target inviting more foreign direct investments,” Zubiri said.
“The Legislative branch already provided the framework.”
“The legislative branch already provided the framework. Yet, we shall continuously strive to better our contribution by providing the fiscal space required by the agencies concerned. The budget remains a very important tool to put flesh into the potential arising from our improved rank. When the Senate convenes next month, we shall remember this as we discuss the national government budget. We will step up with the challenges posed by our rank in the World Bank EODB Report,” he stressed.
The country’s rating slid down on electricity and resolving insolvency as it remained static on registering property, getting credit, trading across borders and enforcing contracts.