Press Release
November 1, 2012


Senator Edgardo J. Angara reiterated the need to review tedious government processes shortly after the World Bank released its most recent report on how economies rate in terms of the ease of doing business.

The Philippines was ranked 138th among 185 economies studied by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in the "Doing Business 2013: Smarter Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises," report released last week.

Among Asian countries, the Philippines is included in the bottom four, ahead only of Timor Leste, Laos and Micronesia.

Furthermore, in the "Starting a Business" category of the study, the country ranks even lower--161st out of 185.

"In two years, our country has slipped four places. We ranked 136th last year and 134th in 2010," lamented Angara. "This slipping performance shows that we are not enacting enough reform to enable start-up businesses and SMEs to grow and thrive."

According to Angara, Vice-Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, it is unfortunate when red tape--or the lack of political resolve to lessen it--holds up much-needed reforms in the Philippines.

"What we need is a streamlined business registration system instead of the drawn out process that we have now where 16 different procedures are needed to start a business and 84 working days are required for the 26 steps necessary for getting a building permit," said the veteran legislator.

The Doing Business report also ranks the Philippines as one of the slowest and most expensive in the world--165 out of 185--in terms of the process of resolving insolvency. According to the report, this process takes an average of 5.7 years, taking up to 38 percent of the estate value.

Back in 2007, Angara authored and filed the Financial Rehabilitation and Insolvency Act (FRIA), which was passed into law in 2010. This legislation was created to modernize the antiquated Insolvency Law which has not been updated since 1909.

"While such a law is already in place, the numbers from the World Bank only show the need to implement it more effectively. Various initiatives are also underway--especially in the local level--to make conducting business a lot easier," said Angara.

To conclude he stressed, "What we need is a national effort to transform the country into a place that is hospitable and conducive for businesses to thrive."

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