In the latest report of the World Bank on ease of doing business, the Philippines found itself on the 103rd spot, down several notches from its No. 96 ranking as of last year.
Clinching the top spot in the list is Singapore, followed by New Zealand, Denmark, South Korea, and Hong Kong. The Philippines also trails Malaysia (No. 18 globally, Thailand, No. 49, and Vietnam, No. 90)
Ranking is based on a number of indicators, including: starting a business, dealing with and getting construction permits, property registration, and paying taxes.
In a press conference held after the WB issued the report, National Competitiveness Council (NCC) co-chair Guillermo Luz expressed scepticism on the reliability of the Survey. According to him, rules for measuring countries’ performance have been changed four times in the last five years, and often after the actual field work has been completed.
Luz said it has been difficult to make heads or tails of the tools used and that deadlines for data submissions were moved without notifying country officials.
“We have the numbers to show we’re improving, but it’s obviously not being picked up,” Luz added.
World Bank’s top official in the Philippines Motoo Knoshi said that in order to improve the country’s ranking, policymakers should institutionalize reforms by passing a Freedom of Information Law, break up monopolies and open up protected sectors like telecoms, shipping and agriculture to more competition. He added that the Philippines should also reengineer business regulations.