Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Rowel S. Barba said on 10 October that the new Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Act can significantly affect the country’s rankings in the upcoming 2020 Doing Business (DB) Survey if government agencies strictly implement the law.

Speaking before public and private sector participants at the “Accelerating EODB Reform Initiatives for the Doing Business 2020 Strategy” workshop, Undersecretary Barba expressed confidence that the Ease of Doing Business/ Efficient Government Service Delivery Act can help the Philippines improve and even move forward in several indicators of the DB Survey Report.

RA 11032 (EODB Act) is now in place. If we implement this law to the letter, there is no doubt we can close the gap between us and the frontier,” he said.

According to the World Bank Doing Business Survey, the distance to frontier (DTF) score benchmarks economies with respect to regulatory best practice, showing the absolute distance to the best performance on each Doing Business indicator. An economy’s distance to frontier is reflected on a scale from 0 to 100, where 0 represents the lowest performance and 100 represents the frontier.

Undersecretary Barba said that based on the 2018 report, the country needs to improve on indicators the Philippines scored lowest, namely: (1) Getting Credit (DTF score: 30); (2) Protecting minority investors (DTF score: 40); and (3) Enforcing Contracts (DTF score: 46).

Undersecretary Barba, who also heads DTI’s Competitiveness and Ease of Doing Business Group (CEODBG), called on agencies involved in these indicators to seriously identify significant reforms that would improve the country’s position and move it closer to those at the frontier.

To date, there are already indicators where the Philippines is at the “frontier” in ASEAN, namely:

  • Procedures in “Getting electricity”;
  • Cost of “Getting electricity”; and
  • Strength of insolvency framework under “Enforcing contracts.”

The DTI Undersecretary also issued the reminder to stakeholders to prepare for the 2020 survey, amidst the expected release of the 2019 DB report this month. He underscored that reforms must be in place from May 1, 2018 to May 1, 2019.

‘’We need to do a massive information campaign to inform the public about the reforms that government has already undertaken,” Barba said, adding that there is a need for “radical and transformative reforms so that the Philippines can leapfrog forward in the survey.”♦


Date of Release: 12 October 2018