Filtered By: Money

Study: 3 cities in Cebu among top 6 business-friendly areas

CEBU CITY, Philippines - Three cities in Cebu have emerged among the top six cities where it is easiest to start a business in the Philippines, according to a survey commissioned by the International Finance Corp. and the World Bank. Lapu-Lapu City is the second easiest city to start a business in, next only to Taguig. Cebu City placed fourth, while Mandaue landed sixth in a list of 21 cities in the “Doing Business in the Philippines 2008" survey. The study compared regulations in all 21 cities and focused on three indicators: starting a business, dealing with licenses and registering a property. It compared procedures, time and costs. It described Mandaue City as a best practice case in terms of the cost of registering property, because it charged only about 3.3 percent of the property value. Least cost Lapu-Lapu emerged as a best practice case, in that it cost the least to start a business there. That cost was pegged at 17 percent of the gross national income per capita, which the study listed as US$1,420. In effect, the study found out that it costs only about P10,138 to start a business in Lapu-Lapu City. Cebu City emerged as the fourth best city, both in terms of starting a business and registering property. It takes 32 days to register property in the city, the study found out, compared to only 21 days in Mandaluyong, which topped the list for this indicator. The result confirmed that Mandaue City is friendly to the business sector, both Mayor Jonas Cortes and Vice Mayor Carlo Fortuna said. Cortes promised to continue his regular monthly meetings with company executives and the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with the next one scheduled on May 30. During these meetings the mayor and business owners discuss how the City can help the chamber, and vice-versa. Fortuna credited the administration of former mayor Thadeo Ouano for being supportive of the business sector, as well as the present administration, for sustaining the effort and even raising standards. One-stop-shop As for Lapu-Lapu City, whose relationship with some business owners has been less than cordial, City Councilor Junard Chan credited Mayor Arturo Radaza’s one-stop-shop idea for their good showing in the study. The idea, he explained, was to lump together all signatories for a business permit application—the city treasurer’s office, city health, Bureau of Fire Protection and City Zoning office—in one room inside City Hall. “In Lapu-Lapu, despite the criticisms of some businessmen, the study proved that we are better than some other cities in serving the business sector," Chan told Sun.Star Cebu. The study, however, also reveals considerable challenges for Philippine cities. It listed the Philippines as 133rd out of 178 countries surveyed in 2008, down from 130 last year. “Cities in the Philippines are already competitive in terms of the time required to change the title of a property. It takes on average 32 days to register property across the 21 cities, ranking 56th when compared with 178 economies globally," the study said. However, these cities “do not rank well against global benchmarks in terms of the number of procedures to start a business or secure construction licenses." It takes 25 procedures and 121 days to work on licenses in Marikina, the best of the list. More procedures are required in Cebu (31), Mandaue (33) and Lapu-Lapu (32), although the process takes less time (70 to 90 days) than in Marikina. What makes Marikina the best of the lot is its low cost: it takes only 123 percent of the gross income per capita (or about P73,000) to secure licenses in that city. In contrast, it takes 476.5 percent in Cebu, 480.6 percent in Mandaue and 557.5 in Lapu-Lapu. In all of the cities surveyed, those who want to register a property must go through eight procedures. But while these procedures take 32 days in Cebu, 43 days in Mandaue and 41 days in Lapu-Lapu, it only takes 21 days in Mandaluyong, which is cited as the best practice case in this area. - Sun. Star Cebu