By Jenina P. Ibañez, Reporter 

A TECHNICAL working group led by the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) will make recommendations on a localized Ease of Doing Business report in November.

The World Bank group last week announced that it would halt its flagship global Doing Business report after irregularities regarding data changes in the 2018 and 2020 versions, prompting ARTA to announce that it would look into doing a local index.

The Work Bank report assessed countries’ competitiveness by measuring regulations that enhance and constrain business activity. Countries with fewer regulations will have a higher ranking on the index, boosting investor attractiveness.

The Philippines rose to 95th place from 124th among 190 economies in the 2020 report after improving its overall score to 62.8 points from 60.9 points, although it was seventh among 10 Southeast Asian nations.

ARTA Director-General Jeremiah B. Belgica after a meeting with the interagency Anti-Red Tape Advisory Council on Monday said that the council will form a group that will discuss the localized report.

“The resolution was to create a technical working group that would come up with a recommendation on how we could localize, jumping from what we have learned through the World Bank surveys,” he said in a virtual interview.

“We could get everything that we were able to learn from those surveys and actualizing it and contextualizing it for the Philippine setting.”

ARTA on Saturday said the localized report would be applied to cities and municipalities “to nurture healthy competition and recognize good initiatives of local government units.”

Reforms done in response to the global World Bank report will be continued, Mr. Belgica said.

The localized report will be tied up with ARTA’s report card survey guidelines, which measures red tape among all government agencies. The working group will also invite the local World Bank office to assist its efforts.

ARTA had previously asked the World Bank to review its methodology, noting that survey respondents in the Philippines are not necessarily familiar with government transactions assessed in the report and that it focused only on Quezon City and select processes.

“There were some issues that kept cropping up — hindi tugma case studies nila sa actual na ginagawa natin sa Pilipinas,” Mr. Belgica said.

The advisory council includes the Trade, Information and Communications Technology, Finance, and local government departments.

ARTA on Monday also announced the rollout of the first phase of its online regulatory management and government service databases systems, or the Anti-Red Tape Electronic Management Information System (ARTEMIS).

It also launched the first phase of the Philippine Business Regulations Information System (PBRIS) that provides information on government regulations.