THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said the Philippines may jump more than 30 spots in the World Bank’s (WB) Doing Business ranking following recent reforms.
Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said 25 out of 43 planned reforms targeted for the study’s current reporting cycle have been completed.
“If the data last year are corrected and with all these reforms, they will count (towards to Philippine score); We’ll do better than 94th. My fearless forecast is (a climb of) 30 notches,” Mr. Lopez told BusinessWorld last week in Makati City.
In the 2019 Doing Business report, the Philippines fell 11 places to 124th out of about 190 economies annually surveyed by the bank.
The bank usually gathers data in the 12 months to May and releases the Doing Business report in October.
For this cycle, the DTI hopes the concerns it raised against the bank’s methodology are addressed.
The DTI and the Department of Finance claim the last report is inaccurate, particularly the Getting Credit indicator, the main drag to the Philippines’ score.
The departments said the Philippines could have obtained a higher score if the World Bank included data from all the credit bureaus or even from just the biggest bureau. But the bank depended solely on the Bankers Association of the Philippines Credit Bureau Inc. which has the smallest database of borrower-entrepreneurs.
Mr. Lopez however is concerned that not all completed reforms may be credited.
Nevertheless, he said there is cause for optimism as the reforms are more substantial than those counted in the last cycle, adding that two months remain to complete pending reforms.
The upgrades to the business environment include Republic Act (RA) 11232 or the Revised Corporation Code and RA 11057 or the Personal Property Security Act of 2018.
The Revised Corporation Code removes the minimum paid-in capital requirement and promotes electronic filing of articles of incorporation, among others.
The Personal Property Security law adds items that can be pledged as a collateral for a loan, which now includes a borrower’s inventory, accounts receivable and agricultural products.
Other reforms include the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) recent memorandum circular issuances meant to allow new business taxpayers in Quezon City to start operations even when still waiting for the printing and delivery of its receipts/invoices by BIR accredited-printers, as well as the Supreme Court increasing the amount covered in small claims cases filed before trial courts in Metro Manila. — Janina C. Lim