Less Red Tape, More Fun

The Department of Tourism (DoT) is collaborating with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Department of Finance (DOF) in a program to minimize bureaucratic red tape and improve the Philippines’ competitiveness in the region.

The collaboration is being undertaken with the technical assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADP) under its Strengthening Institutions for an Improved Investment Climate program.

ADB is also extending the same assistance program to other developing countries like Lao PDR and Cambodia.

The program complements the government’s earlier move in creating the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) which is tasked to develop strategies and instill a culture of excellence through public-private sector collaboration.

Under the program, the DOT, with the help of DOLE and DOF -- is set to pilot-test the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA), a process that provides instructions on how to develop regulations of best practice principles, target the issues and meet objectives through analyses, impact assessments, and consultations. This includes tours, seminars, and consultations to arrive at the most optimal regulation.

“Fun means easy, convenient, and hassle-free, which should be evident across the tourism value chain,” Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez said in a statement.

Jimenez said the initiative is necessary if the tourism sector is to realize its full potential and regulations must be in line with the expectations and demands of all tourism stakeholders.

“In keeping with our campaign, we would like to take ‘fun’ to a deeper level to mean good governance and competitive offerings that practice good business and proper management,” Jimenez said.

According to Jimenez, one of the key features of the RIA system is setting up the Office of Best Regulatory Practice to propose and review regulations, as well as train officials in compliance with RIA requirements.

Jimenez cited the recently conducted Regulatory Impact Assessment Advocacy Seminar, participated in by tourism and labor stakeholders and local government units to streamline processes, improve regulations, and reduce unnecessary regulations or red tape.

The RIA Advocacy Seminar complements sound fiscal and macro-economic policies, as well as advocates for a well-functioning regulatory system, an essential component of modern society. The seminars were held in Davao City on July 30 and in Cebu City on July 31.

“This initiative is just one of the many strategies in place to inform various stakeholders about the importance of constantly improving policies. We can definitely move up our country’s ranking through effective and efficient regulations. We are proud to set an example for other government agencies,” Jimenez said.

In the 2012 World Bank Global Survey, the Philippines ranked 136th out of 183 countries in terms of ease in doing business. It also ranked 158th in starting a business, 126th in getting credit; 113th in protecting investors, 136th in paying taxes and 51st in trading across the borders.

original source: www.mb.com.ph