PH seen to improve global competitiveness ranking
The Philippines is expected to improve its ranking when the World Economic Forum (WEF) releases its Global Competitiveness Report, a top official of the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) said over the weekend.
NCC private sector co-chairman Guillermo M. Luz said in a telephone interview that the Philippines has had a lot of improvements in physical infrastructure, as well as governance, business transactions and even education.
“I’m expecting an improvement in ranking, or at least we’re hoping the market recognizes efforts in the next report on competitiveness. Not just improvements in infrastructure but also some other areas like business transactions—we’re trying to simplify the process. On education, we have the K-12 program, though we will need a few years to build up gains,” Luz said.
NCC is working with various government agencies to, among others, ease business permit applications. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Bureau of Internal Revenue, local government units (LGUs), and the Social Security System are among those involved, Luz said.
There will also be coordinations with Philhealth and Pag-IBIG, he added.
So far, the council has worked with DTI, DILG, and 480 cities and municipalities on simplifying and harmonizing the process of getting the mayor’s permit, one of many required of entrepreneurs.
“We are two years ahead of schedule. We were supposed to have 480 by end-2013 and, early on this year, we already had 480. By end-2016, we should have simplified at least getting the mayor’s permit in all 1,634 cities and municipalities,” Luz said.
The NCC initiated this effort in 2010.
Also, the NCC will try to roll out simplification programs for other permits such as fire and sanitation. It is now working with several agencies to trim the number of permits or at least ease the processes by, for example, setting up one-stop shops, Luz said.
“One location where I’ve made a surprise visit and found such changes was Quezon City. There they have a one-stop shop where they physically put together in one place the lanes where several permits can be obtained from the local government. The fire and sanitation departments are not far away so that makes it easier for applicants,” Luz said.
In the WEF 2011-2012 Global Competitiveness Report, the Philippines jumped up ten places to 75th—the highest climb for the country since it entered the survey in 1994—with much-improved macroeconomic environment, technological readiness and good market efficiency.
Of the 142 economies surveyed during the period, the Philippines was also among those that had undergone the biggest improvements.
According to the Geneva-based WEF, “the Philippines [at the time] posted one of the largest improvements. The vast majority of individual indicators composing the GCI [lobal Competitiveness Index] improved, sometimes markedly.”
Local WEF partner Makati Business Club said the country’s strong performance could be attributed to its improved scores in nine of the 12 “pillars” or categories included in the GCI.
The country went up 14 places in the macroeconomic environment category, 12 places in technological readiness, nine places in goods market efficiency, eight places in institutions, four places in financial market development, three places in both business sophistication and innovation, two places in higher education and training, and one place in market size.
At the time, Luz said the Philippines’ edge in the 2011-2012 survey was macroeconomic management, which led to three credit-rating upgrades, as well as improvements in the debt situation, interest rate spreads and inflation.
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