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PHL ease of doing business ranking seen to improve to 89th

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The Philippine ranking could improve to 89th place globally in terms of ease of doing business in the country this year, the Department of Trade and Investment (DTI) said Tuesday.

In an interview with reporters in Quezon City, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the Philippines is likely to see a big improvement in the next annual World Bank report from the 124th rank recorded in the "Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform" report released in October last year.

The optimism, according to Lopez, comes as the Philippines has introduced 43 reforms to address constraints in doing business in the country since the latest survey period, of which 33 are now fully implemented.

These include the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, which requires government agencies to process business transactions within three days.

"89 to 94 range kung ma-credit lahat ng gusto nating ma-credit, even the conservative credit, kahit hindi itong 33 reforms. Sabihin na nating 25 to 28 reforms ang ma-credit out of the 33 that we accomplished, based on the scoring, may upside tayo na better than 95 na best score natin a couple of years ago," Lopez said.

"We're confident over 20 'yung make-credit. Ibig sabihin mas matagal-tagal nang nai-implement 'yun. Kung ma-credit lahat, better than 95."

The Philippines last year refuted its 124th rank, citing what it claimed were inaccurate and understated findings.

"Of course sa atin, 'yung huling legitimate score natin 113 bago nag-124. 113 'yung huli nating legitimate score kaya lang hindi pa na-credit 'yung ibang reforms don," said Lopez.

The Philippines was ranked 113th out of 190 economies in terms of ease of doing business in the World Bank's Doing Business Report 2018.

The global survey takes into account 10 factors — 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.

For the Philippines, the survey considered Quezon City as the representative of the country, where local officials on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with several stakeholders.

Under the MOU, the Quezon City local government unit, Maynilad Water Services Inc., and Manila Water Company agreed to design and implement a modernized process for the application of new water service connections (NWSCs).

"Lahat naman ng LGU tsina-challenge natin to do their streamlining. It's just that QC 'yung covered nung World Bank survey kaya dito ginawa... But 'yung mga signing na ganito, 'yung streamlining are all being done in the country," said Lopez.

He noted, however, that the recent MOU may not be taken into consideration in the next survey, as the World Bank is now on its validation process for the 2020 report to be released later this year.

"Hindi na 'to [make-credit), but the reforms and the momentum should continue even after the survey, the cutoff," said Lopez. —KBK, GMA News

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