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13 cities carry out regulatory reforms - IFC, WB report

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Thirteen out of 20 cities in the Philippines carried out regulatory reforms to make it easier to start and operate a business in their localities, according to a joint report of the International Finance Corp. (IFC) and World Bank (WB).

According to Doing Business in the Philippines 2011, 65 percent of the cities benchmarked for the second time since 2008 showing positive reforms in at least one of the three areas measured -– starting a business, registering property, and dealing with construction permits.

The report said it is easier to start a business in General Santos, obtain construction permits in Davao City, and register property in Valenzuela.

Janamitra Devan, IFC-World Bank vice president, Financial and Private Sector Development, said the progress in regulatory improvements at the local level in the Philippines is an important step toward expanding business opportunities throughout the country.

“A regulatory environment where entrepreneurs can start a business and then grow their firms can expand opportunities for the poor,” Devan said.

The report said many of the improvements came from re-engineering business processes, reducing fees, and using new technology.

For starting a business, Pasay eliminated two procedures in the business permit application process.

Notaries in Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela reduced their fees for preparing sale deeds and related documents, saving money for local entrepreneurs.

Cebu City’s Register of Deeds completed the nationwide land titling computerization project, which cut in half the time to register property title from 10 days to five days.

Doing Business in the Philippines 2011 documents the wide variations in local business regulations across the country.

The high numbers of procedures, expenses, and requirements continue to be the biggest challenge for local entrepreneurs.

While no single city does equally well on all three indicators, Taguig and Valenzuela are consistently ranked in the top seven across all three indicators.
The study was conducted in partnership with the Asian Institute of Management Policy Center.

It was funded by the Australian Agency for International Development, the Canadian International Development Agency, the United States Agency for International Development, and the Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group.

Last month, IFC-World Bank's Doing Business 2011 report showed that the country's ranking in terms of ease of doing business fell by two notches to 148th from the 146th last year.

The report surveyed 183 economies.

Out of the nine criteria used in the study to measure a country’s competitiveness, the Philippines scored poor in terms of dealing with construction permits at 156th place from last year’s 111th. (PNA)




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