New law to lift Philippine rank in doing business

Belgica
STAR/File

MANILA, Philippines — A new law which expands the jurisdiction of first and second level courts is expected to help improve the country’s standing in the World Bank’s Doing Business report, the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) said.

“The signing of President Duterte of Republic Act 11576, amending the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980, is a significant step forward as it will assist the country in further improving its standing in World Bank’s Doing Business Report,” ARTA director general Jeremiah Belgica said in a statement yesterday.

RA 11576 increases the jurisdictional amount covered by the municipal, municipal circuit and metropolitan trial courts to help hasten the resolution of cases.

Under the law, first level courts such as municipal, municipal circuit, and metropolitan trial courts may now resolve civil actions involving title or possession of real property with value of up to P400,000 from the previous maximum set at P50,000.

These courts may also resolve admiralty and maritime actions, as well as civil cases and probate proceedings, testate and intestate where demand does not exceed P2 million.

Meanwhile, all those exceeding the amounts covered by the first level courts would be handled by the regional trial courts.

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In addition, the law gives the Supreme Court the power to adjust the jurisdictional amount for the first and second level courts.

Belgica said two indicators covered by the World Bank Doing Business report such as resolving insolvency and enforcing contracts require court intervention.

In particular, the resolving insolvency indicator measures the time, cost and outcome of insolvency proceedings of domestic entities and the strength of the legal framework applicable to judicial liquidation and reorganization proceedings.

Meanwhile, the enforcing contracts indicator covers the time and cost for resolving a commercial dispute through a local first-instance court and the quality of judicial processes index, or the series of good practices that promote quality and efficiency in the court system.

In the Doing Business 2020 Report, the Philippines ranked 95th out of 190 economies with a score of 62.8, up from 124th and its score of 57.68 in 2019.

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