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Freeman Cebu Business

Biz leaders: Phl needs to work harder

Grace Melanie L. Lacamiento - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Local business leaders acknowledged the efforts of both the government and the private sector in the improvement of the country’s competitiveness ranking in the global arena, however also admitted that more work has to be done to further move up.

The upcoming Doing Business report that will be released on October 29, 2013 by the World Bank Group shall determine the improvement of the Philippines in terms of its competitive ranking among other countries in the world.

The Doing Business report measures the efficiency and strength of laws, regulations and institutions that are relevant to domestic small and medium-sized companies throughout their life cycle.

Through the findings of the report, it aims to encourage countries to adopt more effective regulations, offer measurable benchmarks for reform and serve as a resource for academics, policymakers, private-sector executives and other parties interested in the business climate of each country.

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Lito Maderazo lauded the government’s efforts to improve its services over the past years through less corruption but pointed out that “more has to be done” specifically in terms of infrastructure and utilities in the country.

He added that the government could also take a look into amending some economic provisions of  the Constitution such as land ownership among others.

He said that the CCCI has always been in the forefront lobbying for a better business environment particularly on policy, taxation and acquisition of business permits.

Philip Tan, president of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), said that the country has manifested notable improvements mostly in the area of good governance.

He, however, stressed the level of  progress of the Philippines has to be higher compared to other countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong that posted remarkable growth in terms of competitiveness.

“Yes, we are improving somehow but it may not be as fast as other countries in order to overtake them. We have to change our benchmark in assessing our improvement to really identify where are we going to as far as competitiveness is concerned,” he said.

Tan added that the government should also be cautious on “too much” bureaucracy that could eventually breed corruption and be responsible enough to spearhead the leveling of playing field among businesses and labor force.

“We appreciate what we are doing but we are not getting as fast as other countries. We are still very far from them. There is a lot of work to do. Everything should be right on track,” he stated.

Filipino Cebuano Business Club Inc. (FCBI) president Rey Calooy said that both parties have exerted their efforts and play a significant role in improving the competitiveness ranking of the country.

He also said that the private sector is extending its full assistance to help in any reforms initiated by the government.

For instance, he cited that FCBI has conducted a consultation with the local government unit to put up a one-stop shop for micro, small and medium enterprises as a means to avoid red tape.

This year’s Doing Business Report is considered to be the eleventh in the series of the annual flagship reports of  the World Bank Group.

The 2014 report presents data for 189 economies of which four economies such as Libya, Myanmar, San Marino and South Sudan are collected for the first time this year.

In the same report released last year, the Philippines ranked 138th out of 185 countries, falling two notches from its 136th place out of 183 economies in 2011.

Earlier, the government expressed its optimism on the improvement of the competitiveness ranking of the Philippines at least earning the 62nd place by 2016 from the 138th spot last year.

For this year, they are targeting to rank between 110th to 120th places.

Also, the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) remained bullish that the Philippines shall improve its ranking and performance in various global competitiveness reports through the unified, collaborative and strengthened efforts of both the government and the private sector. /JOB (FREEMAN)

 

BUSINESS

CEBU CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

COMPETITIVENESS

DOING BUSINESS

DOING BUSINESS REPORT

FILIPINO CEBUANO BUSINESS CLUB INC

GOVERNMENT

LITO MADERAZO

MANDAUE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

WORLD BANK GROUP

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