November 2, 2017

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) on Thursday cited the government’s efforts to fast-track reforms to further enhance the ease of doing business in the country.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia assured businesses that the government is working hard to institute reforms and help improve the business climate in the Philippines.

For one, the government is eyeing the “single-window approach” instead of establishing a one-stop shop or co-location of government agencies which the government was earlier pushing for.

“We are not satisfied with a single-stop shop approach. We want to have a single-window approach so that the processing of permits and business applications will be faster,” Pernia said at a press briefing chaired by DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez and the government’s senior officials in Makati City.

With the single-window approach, businesses will only have to submit all documents to one government representative or office which will handle all related processes from there.

The Philippines placed 113th in the World Bank Group’s 2018 ranking of 190 economies in its annual ease of doing business report. While the country slid down from the 99th place last year, its score improved by 0.42 points—from 58.32 last year to 58.74 this year.

Pernia underscored the need to carry out measures spelled out in the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022, the country’s blueprint for socioeconomic development.

“The President has issued Executive Order 27 which mandated all government agencies at the local and national levels, including GOCCs, to follow what is provided for in the PDP and even adjust the budget and programs to achieve the objectives in the PDP,” Pernia explained.

Legislative reforms to improve the ease of doing business in the country are also underway with the Expanded Anti-Red Tape Act expected to be passed by early next year, Pernia said.

Other legislative agenda that the government is pushing for include the amendment of the Local Government Code to address the challenges in local service delivery and the passage of the E-government Act to enable interoperability of government data and processes to increase efficiency and economy in the delivery of services.

In relation to the Unified National Identification System Act pending in Congress, Pernia shared that the government will be sending a mission to India to observe its national ID for Development (ID4D) system that has become the global model.

Pernia likewise reiterated the government’s plan to amend certain economic provisions of the Constitution to relax restrictive foreign ownership provisions to attract more foreign investments.