MANILA Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri on Friday called on all government frontline and regulatory agencies to adhere to the framework of the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) following the Philippines' dramatic improvement in the World Bank Doing Business 2020 Report.
Zubiri said the EODB law has helped propel the country's ranking from 124th to 95th, describing its contribution as truly noteworthy.
"The WB recognized our major legislative accomplishments which impacted immediately on starting a business, securing construction permits, protection of minority investors and paying taxes, but not necessarily on improved collection efficiency and administration, Zubiri said.
Zubiri, however, stressed the need to erase all red tape to achieve economic growth and eliminate poverty.
He noted that while the enhanced Anti-Red Tape Authority is critical to the country's continued success, there remains much to be done."
"All national and local agencies are expected to connect to the government data center of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, an important part of raising efficiency in the delivery of government services, Zubiri said.
The senator said the DICT has been tasked to create a Central Business Portal for faster government transactions.
As of now, only 160 agencies in Metro Manila and 15 in Cebu are connected to it, which the lawmaker pointed as a significant lag in implementation considering that more than one year has passed since the EODB enactment.
"Likewise, we may have enabled entrepreneurs to set up a business fast, but the provision of critical public services and infrastructures like power, water, telecommunications, and transportation are dependent on the activism of the Executive especially of regulatory agencies, he said.
Additionally, setting up Mom and Pops enterprises is now faster but enlarging their customer base also depends on the Executive's wage and job generation strategies, he added.
Zubiri assured to improve the legislative branch's contribution regarding the country's EODB by providing the fiscal space required by the agencies concerned.
The Budget remains a very important tool to put flesh into the potential arising from our improved rank. When the Senate convenes next month, we shall remember this as we discuss the National Government budget. We will step up with the challenges posed by our rank in the World Bank EODB Report, he added.
The Doing Business 2020 report also indicated that the Philippines is one of the top three high jumpers among the economies covered by the study.
It showed that the Philippines recorded the highest improvement, both in rank and Ease of Doing Business (EODB) score, among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member-nations.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 to solve the perennial problem of bureaucracy in March 2018. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency