Following a slip to the 113th rank in World Bank’s Doing Business report, the Philippines is being geared to upgrade its ‘ease of doing business’ through new government initiatives.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said that the Executive and Legislative branches, as well as national and local government units “are working double time” to provide assistance to businesses through these reforms.
He also noted that the country’s “competitiveness and ease of doing business” is third in President Rodrigo Duterte’s socioeconomic agenda.
One of the reported measures is the Company Registration System implemented by the Securities and Exchange Commission in November 2017 which expedited the processes in company registration and verification.
The issuance of Social Security System (SSS) Tax Identification Number (TINs) and employer number, as well as the Pag-IBIG Fund and Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) are also integrated in the system.
Also, the DTI, together with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), issued Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) 2018-01.
The said circular sets standards in processing construction permits and certificates, manifested in the implementation of a four-step procedure among local government units (LGUs).
A unified system that will enable newly SEC-registered companies to enroll employees at a single portal or through its implementing agencies (SSS, Pag-IBIG, PhilHealth) is also expected soon.
As per LGUs, the order given by Mayor Herbert Bautista in December 2017 for one-stop shops (OSS) for registration of new businesses was also mentioned. Currently, an OSS is fully operating at the Quezon City Hall.
From the Judicial branch, Lopez said that they are “looking forward” to the guidelines on the e-notarization system which is “also expected to create positive results in the competitiveness ranking”.
Certain bills and legislation, such as the Expanded ARTA/AODB Bill, the Corporation Code, and the Secured Transactions Act, are also anticipated to improve the country’s scores in the World Bank survey.