NCC conducts its 4th Ease of Doing Business Summit; PH highlights reforms in the business regulatory procedures

 07 June 2016 Manila, Philippines—The National Competitiveness Council has once again convened the public and private sector for the 4th Annual Ease of Doing Business Summit to present and discuss the reforms initiated by the Ease of Doing Business Task Force to ease the business regulatory procedures in the government.

During the summit, members of the inter-agency Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Task Force presented their respective work programs and plans in line with Gameplan 4.0 before major stakeholders from government, business, development organizations, diplomatic corps, and media.

The Gameplan is designed and crafted by NCC and EODB Task Force based on the Doing Business Report of the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Where, the report measures the ease of doing business across ten processes which a business must undertake with several government agencies over its typical life cycle: from starting a business to closing a business.

Since its implementation, the Philippines has posted significant gains in the Doing Business Report, moving up 45 notches for the past five years. Currently, the Philippines ranks No. 103 out of 189 economies in the report. The country aims to be on the top third (No. 63) of world rankings by 2016.

The EODB Task Force has committed to deliver the following improvements to impact the processes measured in the report:

On Starting a Business, business applicants can now obtain all the relevant reference numbers (SEC Registration Number, BIR Tax Identification Number, and Employers Registration Number from Social Agencies such as SSS, Pag-Ibig, and PhilHealth) in just one application from a single location through the Integrated Business Registration System (IBRS). Transactions can be done at the SEC head office and selected satellite offices in malls.

On Paying Taxes and payroll-related payments, PagIBIG and PhilHealth have made it easier for companies employing ten or more workers to pay monthly contributions through online payment system in Landbank and DBP. BIR has also launched electronic tax filing and e-payment through G-cash, where taxpayers can use their mobile phones to remit payments instead of queuing in BIR offices and banks. In addition, with SSS online payment, companies with more than ten employees will be able to remit contributions through partner banks (auto debit) and accredited payment centers (Bayad Center, SM Malls, etc.).

For Dealing with Construction Permits, the issuance of the Fire Safety Evaluation Clearance (FSEC) and Fire Safety Inspection Certificate (FSIC) are now integrated under the Department of Building Official (DBO) through the co-location of Bureau of Fire Protection to the DBO. In addition, through the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Building Code with IRR is now available online and can be accessed through their website at

For Getting Electricity, the client no longer needs to visit QC to request and receive CEI; instead, it’ll be a transaction between Meralco and QC through the online transmittal of Certificate of Electrical Inspection (CEI). Also, with the ERC Rule of 2015, the amount of the security deposit is reduced from PhP 251,770.00 to PhP 231, 661.16.

For Registering Property, BIR developed web-based system with LRA to automate manual processes of preparing Certificate Authorizing Registration Electronic Certificate Authorizing Registration (eCAR).

Several reforms are also being undertaken to ease Trading Across Borders. The Terminal Appointment Booking System (TABS) issued by the Metro Manila Development Authority fast tracks booking of containers, status/updates can all be done through mobile devices anytime-anywhere. Port operators are mandated to implement TABS which aims to reduce the number of trucks during traffic peak periods without affecting the total number of imports and exports going in and out of the ports. In addition, the implementation of the Foreign Ships Co-Loading Act, allows importers and exporters to directly ship their goods to its port of destination. Hence, reducing the shipping costs, creating a more efficient import and export system, and decongests the port of Manila and other major ports in the country.

On-going initiatives are being reinforced to further improve court efficiency and ease the process in resolving disputes (Enforcing Contracts). With the revised rules and regulations for Small Claims Courts, the amount has been increased to PhP 200,000 from Php 100,000 to cover more small claims cases. This allows ordinary Filipinos to litigate on their own money claims by providing them an inexpensive, informal and simple procedure. To initiate a small claims action, there would be no need for intervention of lawyers, and no formal pleading, other than the Statement of Claim/s.

As we transition to the next administration, NCC Private Sector Co-Chairman Guillermo M. Luz underscored the necessity to institutionalize reforms and deeply embed it in the system so it will be irreversible. He further stressed the need to revolutionize the bureaucracy to sustain the momentum for competitiveness, as other countries continue to reform and constant changes to the report toughens up the competition. He also called for more engaged citizens in providing feedback for continuous improvement of the systems and commended the Task Force for their continuing efforts but also challenged them to deliver even more large-scale reforms to further ease doing business in the Philippines.

Grab a copy of the presentation here: 

For more information, kindly email doingbusiness [at] competitive [dot] org [dot] ph