Press Release
February 6, 2017

Zubiri sponsors Ease-Of-Doing-Business Act to improve business climate

Senator Juan Miguel F. Zubiri sponsored the Ease of Doing Business Act yesterday which aims to create a business-conducive environment in the country by reducing the requirements and steps to start and operate a business as well as eliminate redundant regulations.

Zubiri filed Committee Report No. 33 which will address the four most problematic areas for all types and sizes of businesses in the country consisting of corruption, inadequate infrastructure, tax regulations and inefficient bureaucracy, from the Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016. The Philippines' scores from a survey of businessmen on the four most problematic areas: corruption, 15.5 percent; inadequate infrastructure, 17%; tax regulation, 16.3%; inefficient bureaucracy, 11.7%.

"We have to play catch up with our neighbors. While our beaches and marine resources are a boon to tourism and agriculture, our being an archipelago is a disadvantage compared to our continental-based competitors in the ASEAN," Zubiri stressed.

Meanwhile, according to the Doing Business Report of the World Bank, the Philippines ranks 99th this year and 103rd last year in ease-of-doing-business worldwide. In the ASEAN, we rank 6th of ten nations. In number of procedures to start a business, we have 16 compared to six for Laos and Thailand, and, three in Malaysia and Singapore. In registering a property, we have 9 procedures compared to only five in Indonesia and Vietnam; four in Singapore and Laos and three in Thailand. On paying taxes, the Philippines has 36 payments which is close to that of Myanmar, 31 and Brunei, 27 payments; and, almost three times that of Malaysia, 13 and more than seven times that of Singapore, 5 payments.

The proposed EODB Act includes reforming and re-engineering processes at the national and local levels. Its objectives are to minimize regulations in securing licenses, clearances and permits on business entities; to create an environment conducive for business to register, comply and operate; to encourage foreign investment.

"These reforms will introduce more economic activities that will increase opportunities and incomes of business firms, all types of entrepreneurs and their employees. With ASEAN economic integration, we should seriously face these challenges. I believe this EODB Act will enable our country to grow local businesses and invite more foreign businesses to set up factories and offices here," Zubiri stressed.

Zubiri said his EODB Act must come in a package with Information and Communications Technology strides as it creates the Philippine Business Registry Databank which will bridge all businesses and line agencies such as the Department of Trade and Industry, Securities and Exchange Commission, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Bureau of Customs, Department of Interior Local Government, Local Government Units, Environment and Natural Resources, of Finance, the Land Registration Authority, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, Bureau of Fire Prevention, and others.

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