CJ impeachment trial seen to boost Phl competitiveness

The impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona is positive in terms of improving the competitiveness ratings of the Philippines because it proves the country is serious in its fight versus corruption.

In an interview yesterday, National Competitiveness Council (NCC) private sector co-chairman Guillermo Luz said the process is good because it means that the country is doing something.

 “It’s not just the impeachment. It’s the multiple cases filed. It sends the signal that the government means business when it comes to counter corruption and governance,” Luz said.

Curbing corruption is one of the key focus of the NCC to improve the standing of the country in the World Economic Forum (WEF)survey. The result of the WEF will be released in September.

Likewise, Luz said, although some of the action needed to improve competitiveness requires legislative attention like amendments in the Anti-money laundering law, the impeachment will not be a hindrance. The Senate and House prosecutors are expected to be tied up for months due to the impeachment trial.

 “Look at the market. It is performing well because the government is saying the Philippines follows due process and the rule of law,” Luz explained further.

Right now, Luz said the Philippines is below the 50-percent mark of the various competitiveness surveys. “We want to move higher and higher until we are on the top one third,” Luz said.

He said that once the country improves in competitiveness ranking, then the gross domestic product (GDP) will grow, foreign direct investments (FDI) will come in, the poverty incidence will lessen and the middle class will grow.

Luz said the NCC would like to maintain focus on governance and bureaucracy, infrastructure, macroeconomic management, education, goods market efficiency, labor market efficiency and technological readiness.

Among these, Luz said the most important is governance and bureaucracy, infrastructure and education.

For ease of doing business, the factors that NCC would like to concentrate on are starting a business like online business registration and streamlined business permits; other permits like construction permits, sanitation permits and fire permits; credit information, business insolvency rules and procedure and enforcing contracts.

The NCC also called on industry groups to make their own 10 or five year roadmaps similar to what the electronics and the business process outsourcing (BPO) industries did. Among the industries that should make one are the agribusiness, mining, automobile, housing, steel and shipbuilding.

original source: www.philstar.com