The methodology was revised so comparisons of rankings from the previous year would be inaccurate. Still, the Philippines remained in the lower half of the latest annual rankings for ease of doing business in 190 economies.
In the Doing Business 2018 report prepared by the World Bank Group, the Philippines ranked 113th, from 99th place in last year’s study. The National Competitiveness Council stressed that the country in fact saw its score improve “marginally,” reflecting “a more efficient business environment and stronger legal institutions.”
The problem is that other economies registered greater improvements than the Philippines. The country ranked 16th among 25 economies in East Asia and the Pacific and seventh among 11 in Southeast Asia.
Singapore as usual was the top performer in the region, ranking second overall, behind only the world’s easiest place for doing business, New Zealand. Malaysia ranked 24th overall; Thailand was 26th; Brunei, 56th; Vietnam, 68th, and Indonesia, 72nd. That’s a long way from 113th place. The Philippines ranked ahead only of Cambodia (135th), Laos (141st), Myanmar (171st) and Timor-Leste (178th).
In the global rankings, Denmark ranked third followed by South Korea, Hong Kong, the United States, United Kingdom, Norway, Georgia and Sweden.
The World Bank Group cited reforms implemented to make doing business easier in the Philippines, notably the introduction of an electronic system for paying taxes and contributions to a housing development fund. There are also continuing efforts to improve the country’s ranking in ease of doing business.
As the rankings indicate, however, other economies are faster at implementing reforms in the 10 indicators: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, obtaining credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.
The rankings tend to reflect the level of economic development in each economy. This should give more urgency to speeding up reforms in the Philippines, whose competitiveness in attracting investment is hobbled by restrictions on foreign ownership in the Constitution. Investments mean jobs and livelihoods and alleviation of poverty. Every nation must create an environment that makes doing business easy.
ASEAN NEWSPAPER OPINIONS AND EDITORIALS
7.1. Rody acquires a stalker – The Daily Tribune
7.2. President Duterte appeals for the new BBL – The Manila Bulletin
7.3. Dent on the economy– The Manila Standard
7.4. POST UNDAS TRASH– The Manila Times
7.5. Conflicted at SSS– The Philippine Daily Inquirer.
7.6. In the lower half – The Philippine Star
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