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Dip in World Bank ranking spurs Du30 gov’t to revamp business targets

It was like waking up from a sweet dream when the Duterte administration tweaked its target of putting Philippines on the world’s top 20 economies.

Instead of aiming for the top 20 list, the Duterte administration settled with the “top 20 percent list”, within the range of the world’s top 38 economies.

The change of target came after World Bank placed Philippines on the 113th rank for the ease of doing business. The said ranking was a forecast of how easy or difficult it would be to conduct business in the Philippines in 2018. World Bank previously forecasted that, in 2017, Philippines would be on the 99th slot as far as ease of doing business was concerned.

Philippines’ designation to the 113th place showed a downtrend of the country’s business environment. Hence, the Department of Trade and Industry announced that the government had tweaked its goal to be more realistic.

In its 2018 Doing Business Report, World Bank lauded the Philippine government for the immediate provision of electric services to budding businesses. The reforms in the process of tax payment also received commendations.

However, World Bank was quick to remark that the country’s rate of progress was slower compared to those of other world economies.

Bureaucracy in the government was still the main reason why small enterprises are struggling to build strong foundations. When speaking of bureaucracy, the World Bank pointed to the highly complicated process of securing government permits as an unresolved issue.

The Duterte administration vowed to remediate the country’s supposed backslide. According to Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, the government would conduct studies on major points of improvement identified by World Bank. The country’s business community would also be consulted to see if its members could feel the government’s reforms.

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About Arli Joshua Atienza

Arli Joshua Atienza is a native of Bataan, an English teacher by profession, and a passionate member of Clark’s Jewish community. He began his career in journalism since his high school days. It culminated when he joined his college’s radio station and news publication. Now, he works as a journalist at KLIPP TV.