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PHL climbs 29 spots in Global Ease of Doing Business ranking

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The Philippines climbed 29 notches to rank 95th globally in terms of ease of doing business, according to this year’s World Bank report that took into consideration 190 economies.

Under the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report released Thursday, the Philippines scored 62.8 points, an improvement from the 57.68 points last year.

Indicators for the scores were starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency, and labor market regulation.

The biggest improvements were registered in getting credit (scored 40 from 5.0 last year); protecting minority investors (scored 60 from 43.33 last year); and dealing with construction permits (scored 70.00 from 68.58)

Higher scores were also registered in paying taxes, enforcing contracts, and registering property.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) noted this year’s numbers were “more accurate” than in the previous year.

“The road to 95 was challenging, much like climbing Mount Everest. We worked fast, and scaled up our reform initiatives,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a press conference in Pasay City.

“The last time the Philippines ranked 95th—the highest spot we held so far—was in the year 2014,” he added.

Lopez in April said the ranking could improve to within the 89th to 95th range, given several factors such as the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, which requires government agencies to process business transactions within three days.

The Philippines last year refuted its 124th rank, citing what it claimed were inaccurate and understated findings especially on the getting credit indicator.

“While no mention of this data challenge was made in DB 2020 report, we are relieved that a more realistic assessment of the Philippines credit information ecosystem has been reflected in the World Bank report,” he said.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the “drive for good governance” is “paying off.”

However, the “government cannot move forward alone,” Panelo noted.

“We therefore request the public not to enable or initiate corruption to skirt red tape in their transactions with the government, and instead ask them to report any form of irregularity or suspicious actions undertaken by government personnel to 8888 Citizens’ Complaint Hotline, the Presidential Complaint Center, the Anti-Red Tape Authority or to the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission,” he added.

Lopez said the Philippines will continue to introduce more reforms to improve its score and move up the ranking further.

“Much like a climb to Mount Everest, we need to prepare for the next base camp. The target in the Philippine Development Plan for 2020 is top 40%, which would be around rank 76,” he said.

“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,” he added. —With a report by Virgil Lopez/VDS, GMA News

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