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PH protests drop in Doing Business 2019 report ranking

MANILA — The Philippines government has protested the decline in the country’s ranking in the Doing Business 2019 report of the World Bank to the 124th spot from 113th in the 2018 index.

The World Bank ranking came despite the country’s ease of doing business score improving by 1.36 points to 57.68.

The Philippine government questioned the 11-notch decline in the country’s ranking in the Doing Business 2019, after the country’s score in getting credit indicator dropped from 30 to 5, offsetting the gains from other indicators.

In a joint statement, the Department of Finance (DOF) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said the drop in getting credit score was due to “the failure of the World Bank’s survey team to gather the correct information on the country’s credit information database”.

“We find the report grossly inaccurate and the coverage severely understated,” the two agencies stated.

Both departments claimed that the ease of doing business in the country has “generally improved” given that the country improved its scores in seven out of 10 indicators.

“[T]he DTI simulation shows a much favorable scenario, if the getting credit scores are adjusted, or remained the same as late year,” they said.

“[T]he Philippines’ ease of doing business score for 2019 should be at least 60 versus 57.68, and the country’s rank would be in the range of 101 to 108 versus number 124,” DOF and DTI added.

The Philippine government also demanded for a review on the country’s rating for the Doing Business 2019 report.

“This correction should be done soon as the report could unduly compromise the Philippines’ standing among the investment community and negatively impact the country’s development, considering that this document is widely used as a reference by investors and survey organizations,” the DOF and DTI stressed.

In its Doing Business 2019 report released on Wednesday evening here, the World Bank said it measured 190 economies’ regulatory quality and efficiency for the private sector in starting a business, getting a location, access to finance, dealing with day-to-day operations, and operating in a secure business environment.

It also measured 10 indicators vital in starting to closing business operations, which include starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, trading across borders, paying taxes, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency.

The World Bank, however, noted the Philippines’ reforms to make it easier to start a business, get construction permits, and protecting minority investors.

“The Philippines made starting a business easier by simplifying tax registration and business licensing processes,” the report read.

“The Philippines improved risk management practices in the construction sector, with latent defect liability insurance now commonly obtained by industry players,” it said.

“The Philippines strengthened minority investor protections by increasing shareholders’ rights and role in major corporate decisions and clarifying ownership and control structures,” it added. (Kris Crismundo/PNA)

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