During the Ease of Doing Business Summit yesterday, Lopez challenged government agencies and local government units to “change their mindsets and go back to the drawing board” as far as doing business is concerned, for the country to achieve a “trailblazing improvement” in its global rankings.
Geremy Pintolo
‘Total overhaul needed to improve ease of doing business rank’
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - June 14, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines’ chances of landing in the top 20 percent worldwide for ease of doing business by 2020 looks bleak unless a complete overhaul in the system is made, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

During the Ease of Doing Business Summit yesterday, Lopez challenged government agencies and local government units to “change their mindsets and go back to the drawing board” as far as doing business is concerned, for the country to achieve a “trailblazing improvement” in its global rankings.

“We need drastic changes and forget and scrap old ways of doing things. If you change from where you’re now, the tendency (for improvement) is limited because you’re looking at cutting steps. But if you go back to a zero base, to the extent possible where we can have one form applicable to as many agencies with similar information requirements,” he said.

 “I’m not saying other agencies are not cooperating. They are cooperating but maybe, what they are doing now is how to improve. What needs to be done is to remove everything and redo everything,” Lopez added.

He said while the country is undertaking incremental improvements, other countries are doing drastic reforms.

As a result, the Philippines dropped to 113th place in the 2018 Doing Business Report released last year by the World Bank-International Finance Corp, a survey that measures and ranks the ease and cost of doing business in 190 economies.

“For us to leapfrog, we cannot do these incremental changes. We have to do this differently,” Lopez said.

“Until we undertake this total change will I be optimistic, but if its incremental, then we can expect incremental increase, if any,” he added.

Lopez pointed out that reforms under the current administration have already been implemented which have resulted in the reduction in the processing time and steps on applications in Quezon City, the representative city monitored by the World Bank for the report.

The trade chief, however, called on all government agencies to implement fully reforms that cover starting a business,  dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, protecting minority investors, trading across borders and enforcing contracts.

EASE OF DOING BUSINESS RAMON LOPEZ WORLD BANK
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