KEY players in the chemicals, housing, logistics, power, and public transportation industries are pushing for the development of an online inter-agency database to make it easier to do business in the country.

Arnel Abanto, head of the Development Academy of the Philippines’ (DAP) Center for Productivity and Development, said businesses spend much time, effort, and money to obtain documents from one agency required by another agency.

“The online facility (is) similar to the National Single Window or the Philippine Business Registry. Expand that to allow access to information by an agency that we normally ask them to submit,” he said during the Modernizing Government Regulations (MGR) public forum last week.

Abanto said it is imperative that businesses’ information can be shared to make it easier to verify requirements, such as when the Social Security System (SSS) has to obtain taxpayers’ identification numbers (TIN) from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

“If such information can be shared across agencies, especially information coming from the LGUs (local government units), such requirements need not be submitted again. This is really a big challenge to implement this one,” he said.

Apart from the development of an online inter-agency information system or database, the five industries recommended other initiatives for improving ease of doing business.

These are adopting a single business identification system, strengthening the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA), and the creation of regulatory reform oversight body.

“We are proposing the establishment of an oversight body that can influence regulatory agencies when we talk of energy regulation, labor regulation, agriculture, trade and industry, etc. because businesses nowadays could span across sectors of the economy,” Abanto said.

“The role of regulators in introducing regulations is to protect certain interests, promote productivity, and achieve prosperity for the country,” he added. The MGR is a comprehensive national regulatory reform program being implemented by DAP, in cooperation with the National Economic and Development Authority. (Philexport News and Features)