Lopez bats for ‘drastic change’ to leapfrog in doing biz ranking

By Kris Crismundo

June 13, 2018, 4:11 pm

MANILA -- The country’s top trade official seeks a “drastic change” in the bureaucracy to ensure that the Philippines will land in the top 20 percent of the ease of doing business global ranking by 2020.

During the 6th Ease of Doing Business Summit in Pasay City Wednesday, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said government should speed up the implementation of reforms in the bureaucracy in order to be less cumbersome to businessmen.

Lopez said instead of just reducing the number of steps, days, forms, and signatories in offices involved in processing busines permits and licenses, the country’s vision should look towards streamlining and automating these processes.

“For us to leapfrog and to be in the top 20 percent in 2020, we cannot do this incremental changes. We really have to think differently, change mindsets,” he stressed.

On the sidelines of the event, Lopez told reporters that there should only be one form and one business number for every establishment when processing their applications across all agencies.

The government should also pursue and roll out automation of processes as early as possible in order for this kind of reform to be counted in the World Bank’s survey, the trade chief added.

Lopez said these reforms can be considered for inclusion in the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Republic Act (RA) 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last month.

The government’s target of being in the top 20 percent in the Doing Business Report of the World Bank in 2020 means the Philippines should at least be at the 38th spot out of 190 countries in the global survey.

Last year, the country’s ranking fell from 99th place to 113th place.

Meanwhile, Lopez mentioned that the country presented 19 reforms to the World Bank for this year’s Doing Business report.

These include three reforms in Starting a Business indicator; two reforms in Dealing with Construction Permits; three reforms in Getting Electricity; four reforms in Registering Property; two reforms in Protecting Minority Investors; four reforms in Trading Across Borders; and one reform in Enforcing Contracts.

But Lopez pointed out that these reforms should be felt in the ground by stakeholders in order to attract more investments in the country that would create additional jobs for Filipinos. (PNA)