By Richmond Mercurio, February 19 2018; The Philippine Star


Image Credit to Department of Trade

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said doing business in the Philippines is set to become much easier following the passage of a key bill in Congress last week.

Lopez said the passage in the bicameral conference committee of the Ease of Doing Business Bill last Feb. 14 was “one of the best gifts of the Congress and the Senate to the Filipino people.”

“When enacted, there will be a shorter number of days in processing for simple and complex businesses and many more,” Lopez said.

“It will definitely be a big enforcement tool for many government ocials
to perform their job within the prescribed period, because there is immediate suspension, there can be criminality and imprisonment,” he said.

Lopez said the Ease of Doing Business Bill is set to become a law once signed by President Duterte, hopefully within the month.

Lopez, chair of the National Competitiveness Council and the inter-agency Doing Business Task Force, earlier said all instrumentalities of government involved in business regulations are taking unied action in simplifying government processes to make them more business friendly.

“Remember that competitiveness and ease of doing business is number three in the President’s socio-economic agenda. The executive branch, both national government agencies, and local government units, and the legislative branch are working double time so that businesses could benet
from these reform initiatives,” he said.

The Philippines dropped 14 notches to No. 113 in the Doing Business Report published by World Bank-International Finance Corp. last year.

Lopez said the country remains bullish at being able to leapfrog in the Doing Business Report rankings before the Duterte administration ends its term as reforms are being lined up to simplify doing business in the country.

“Reforms must happen across government to achieve our goal to become top 20 percent in world rankings by 2020,” he said.