2 key PH reforms cited in World Bank Doing Business report

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Filipino job seekers look at job openings posted on a board at the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency. REUTERS FILE

WASHINGTON – Two key reforms implemented by the Philippines in the past year to improve the business climate for small and medium enterprises has been cited in the the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs.

The Bank noted how crucial reforms for easing the conduct of business are, saying the private sector is responsible for an estimated 90% of employment in developing economies. It is ideally placed to alleviate poverty by providing the opportunities to secure a good and sustainable standard of living, the WB said in a press release.

In the last year, the Philippines improved its business regulations as captured by the Doing Business indicators in absolute terms—the country is narrowing the gap with the global regulatory frontier. On the distance to frontier metric, the Philippines’ score went from 58.32 in Doing Business 2017 to 58.74 in Doing Business 2018, using a comparable methodology.

The country stands out regionally in Resolving Insolvency, with a global rank of 59. The Philippines scores 14 out of 16 possible points on the strength of the insolvency framework index, which is higher than the average of 12 points in OECD high-income economies.

“The focus of the Doing Business report is on promoting regulatory reform that strengthens the ability of the private sector to create jobs, lift people out of poverty and create more opportunities for the economy to prosper, said Rita Ramalho, Acting Director of the World Bank’s Global Indicators Group, which produces the report, “The Philippines is making steady progress in carrying out reforms that can make it easier for entrepreneurs to start and operate a business.”

Despite the continued reforms in the Philippines, small and medium-sized businesses still face significant regulatory challenges, leaving room for further improvements especially in the areas of Starting a Business, Enforcing Contracts and Protecting Minority Investors. Moreover, the pace of reforms is faster in many other countries, including in several regional neighbors.

The Philippines ranks this year at 113 on the ease of doing business, compared to 99 in last year’s report. However, this rank is not comparable to the one published in the Doing Business 2017 report, because of methodology refinements, the Bank said.

The full report and accompanying datasets are available at www.doingbusiness.org