BUSINESS leaders in Cebu commended the country for improving its rank in this year’s Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Report 2014. Leaders said the improvement is a “welcome development” for the economy amid the issues on corruption the country is facing.
World Bank and International Finance Corp. reported on Tuesday that the Philippines ranked 108th among 189 economies in the global survey, advancing 30 places from 2013’s 138th ranking.
Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Lito Maderazo said the improvement is a result of the Aquino Government’s practice of good governance in terms of transparency and accountability. He believes that with the improved ranking, more investments will come into the country.
Rey Calooy, president of the Filipino-Cebuano Business Club Inc., agreed with Maderazo, saying the improved ranking was a result of the collaboration by government and private sector in implementing various reforms in the judicial, fiscal and political levels.
“This (ranking) is a product of improved transparency,” Calooy said.
The country’s performance for EODB 2014 was described as the most improved ranking worldwide and was the country’s biggest jump in the past 11 years.
The Philippines ranked sixth highest in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and is ahead of Indonesia, which was ranked 120th. The Aquino government’s goal is to be in the top 60 by 2016.
While this improvement offers a good sign and positive impression to the country, Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Philip Tan said the country shouldn’t rest on its laurels given that we still have a long way to improve our ranking.
He said the survey only shows improvement at the national level and doesn’t reflect the performance in the local level.
“There are improvements but the Local government unit (LGu) bureaucracy hasn’t improved that big,” said Tan. He said the ease of doing business in the LGU level should be faster than that of the national.
Tan noted it is through improving in the grassroots level that the country will be able to sustain or even advance its footing in the global survey.
According to the global report, the regulatory reforms that helped improve the country’s ranking were in the areas of getting credit, dealing with construction permits, and paying taxes.
Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, USA and Denmark dominated the list while African countries, like the Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Libya, Central African Republic and Chad were at the bottom.
Aside from improving further the country’s ranking, Maderazo also said the government should also try to resolve issues on infrastructure and cost of power and assure investors of a fair justice system.
“If we can do these then the elusive inclusive growth may be achieved during his watch,” said Maderazo.
“We also assure the government that the business sector is always open to extend help but we hope to be included during consultation processes,” Tan added.