By Kristina Maralit | The Manila Times
PRESIDENTIAL candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. vowed to set in place legislative and policy reforms to further enhance the ease of doing business in the country if he wins in May.
Marcos issued the statement in reaction to the latest World Bank's "Doing Business" report in 2020 where the Philippines ranked 95th, improving by 29 notches from its 124th position in 2019. The Doing Business report serves as a reference for foreign investors on a particular country's global competitiveness.
"Jumpstarting our economy would be a top priority for us, should we be given the mandate by the people in this year's elections. It will not be easy since we will be entering a post-pandemic scenario where resources will be scarce," Marcos said.
"It only means that businesses will need to focus on being efficient. The government can help by instituting policies that will make it easier for them to do this," he added.
Studies of data from Philippine cities have shown a strong correlation between the cost and ease of doing business with establishing new business ventures.
Factors such as minimum wage, the prices of electricity, water and land, and the number of days it takes to process new business permits directly affect an entrepreneur's decision to push through with his business idea.
"The cost side of establishing a business will be dealt with through long-term solutions such as legislation and sustained infrastructure development. It will take some time, but we commit to implementing these key initiatives," Marcos said.
"Simply put, the cost and ease of doing business will determine the speed by which new businesses are created. With this in mind, we need to foster the environment conducive for them to develop and thrive," he added.
To measure a country's competitiveness, the World Bank (WB) uses 10 indicators: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency.
Marcos and his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, said that removing the stumbling blocks will redound to higher revenues needed to sustain the government's pandemic response and fulfill its debt obligations.
While the WB stopped issuing the Doing Business report in September 2021, the Philippine government's Anti-Red Tape Authority said it will start releasing a localized version of the report aptly named the Philippine Ease of Doing Business Reporting System.