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One-stop shops, electronic courts to boost PHL’s ‘Doing Business’ ranking

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business permit renewal desk
BW FILE PHOTO

THE PHILIPPINES can make doing business easier for entrepreneurs through one-stop shops as well as by establishing electronic courts to streamline dispute resolution among entrepreneurs, World Bank analysts said on Friday.

In a video press conference televised from Malaysia and aired in Taguig City, World Bank analyst Maksym Lavorsky said enforcement of contracts can be improved more, as it takes 962 days to resolve a commercial dispute in the Philippines, significantly longer than the 580-day average in the East Asia and the Pacific region.

“As you can see, the enforcement of contracts is at the bottom of this table. So you can see, there is room for improvement on that. It takes the Philippines 962 days to resolve a commercial dispute while the average in East Asia and the Pacific region is around 580 days to settle a dispute. So this is an area where the Philippines can improve on,” Mr. Lavorskyi told reporters.

He said the Philippipnes can adopt an electronic court system and streamline its processing of complaints to improve its performance in the court automation index indicator where it scored zero in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report published last Thursday.

“The implementation of electronic courts, as we sometimes call them, makes it possible to file complaints electronically to courts. This is an area where the Philippines can move into because in the court automation index indicator, the Philippines has a score of zero,” he said.

In the report published on Thursday, the Philippines’ ranking rose to 95th place this year from 124th last year as it saw its points inch up to 62.8 from the previous 57.7.

The multilateral bank said the country’s score went up this year as it made it easier to start a business and to deal with construction permits. It also strengthened minority investor protection by requiring greater disclosure of and enhancing director liability for transactions with interested parties, it said.

Another area the Philippines can improve on is in terms of getting credit, World Bank economist Victoria Kwakwa said.

“There is indeed much room for improvement there especially on the rights of lenders with respect to security of transactions and quality of credit information,” Ms. Kwakwa said.

For Arvind Jain, senior economist and statistician at World Bank, the Philippines could enhance its one-stop shops to make it easier for entrepreneurs to start businesses. This includes simplifying procedures, limiting the number of authorities processing requirements to one, as well as lessens costs.

“In terms of why businesses find it difficult to start businesses, across counties, there must be several procedures that businesses need to undertake to start business. they may have to go to one authority, register with main authority, then to tax authority then another procedure. Sometimes, cost in registering a business can be cumbersome,” Mr. Jain said.

Sought for comment, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia told reporters on Friday that the government “should adopt single-window policy that will really facilitate the processing of permits and other requirements,” to improve its ranking. — Beatrice M. Laforga

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