The New Zealand Embassy in Manila visited Davao City on May 8 to hold the Ease of Doing Business Explanatory Support Exercise at Grand Menseng Hotel.

Organized in partnership with the National Competitiveness Council and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Competitiveness Bureau through DTI-Davao Region, the one-day activity was aimed to analyse and look for ways to improve the ease of doing business procedures. In particular, it delved into the business registration process at the local government level.

The mission was headed by New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines David Strachan, together with the New Zealand experts, Dr. Stefan Korn and Phoebe Kwan.

NZ Ambassador Strachan speaking at Davao EODB session
Photo No. 1. New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines David Strachan delivers his message during the New Zealand Scoping Mission at the Grand Menseng Hotel – Davao on May 8, 2017. Morning Session of the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Exploratory Support Exercise

In the morning session, the New Zealand team had a consultation with the local government units (LGUs) from Davao City, Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS), Bansalan, Mati City, Tagum City, Compostela, Asuncion, Panabo City and Maco.

The LGUs were composed of local chief executives, administrators, licensing officers, treasurers, and fire officers. Also present were the relevant government agencies, such as the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC), and Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF/Pag-ibig Fund).

The discussions were focused on the practices of LGUs in terms of the various processes they implement in congruence to the issuance of different clearances, licenses and permits from their respective offices and units.

Dr. Phoebe Kwan, one of the New Zealand business experts on Ease of Doing Business (EODB), in focus group consultation with the private sector with proprietary/ sole proprietorship businesses at Seda-Abreeza Hotel – Davao on May 8, 2017. Afternoon Session of the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Exploratory Support Exercise.

An on-site visit was done at the Business Bureau of Davao City to see the flow of the business registration process.

The afternoon session was spent in small group discussions with the sole proprietors, corporations and cooperatives to know about their experience getting their licenses and permits from the LGUs.

The exploratory support exercise is expected to come up with a Government to Government (G2G) White Paper that will identify problems or gaps and provide recommendations or next steps that will contribute to reform design and decision–making in terms of the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) in the Philippines.

DTI-Davao Regional Director Maria Belenda Q. Ambi said, “The presence of New Zealand business experts and intervention of the private sector will help LGUs decide on where to improve for the Business Permit and Licensing System (BPLS) reforms.”