Phl sees improved competitiveness

The Philippines may see some improvement in its competitiveness ranking this year amid efforts being taken to prevent corruption, address the infrastructure gap and improve business processes, the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) said.

“I am optimistic in seeing an upgrade in the upcoming Global Competitiveness Report of the WEF (World Economic Forum) as we focused on three areas where there are common complains in investing in the Philippines,” Guillermo Luz, NCC private sector co-chairman said in a telephone interview over the weekend.

The Philippines placed 75th out of 142 countries in the WEF’s 2011 to 2012 Global Competitiveness Report released last year.

Compared to its rank in the report released in 2010, the Philippines went up by 10 places, which was the highest improvement seen by the country since it was included in the survey.

Luz said both the government and private sector have been trying to move on several fronts such as fighting corruption, addressing inadequate infrastructure and reducing red tape to encourage more investments to the country.

He noted that there has been effort in the fight against corruption through more transparent bidding processes in government projects.

He also said there has been stronger promotion of good corporate governance both in state-owned and privately owned corporations.

In the area of infrastructure, he said the government has accelerated spending for projects this year.

He said 95 percent of public works this year are moving, which is a big improvement as disbursements for government infrastructure projects were slow in the previous year.

He also said the number of steps in getting permits for businesses has been reduced.

For this year, he said some 480 cities and municipalities are expected to have simplified the process for the application and renewal of business permits.

“We are two years ahead of schedule. The goal was to have worked with 480 cities and municipalities in improving the process by 2014,” he said.

He said that to further improve the process of doing business in the country, the NCC is also looking to simplify the process in securing other permits such as construction permits, and sanitation permits.

Efforts to improve education, he said, have also been made as the Philippines has rated poorly in basic education in the previous WEF reports.

“We have the K-12 and a new curriculum. I hope we will be recognized for that start,” he said.

original source: