The Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) DTI Secretary Adrian S. Cristobal, Jr recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Department of Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala for the two agencies to jointly facilitate business permits, licenses, and endorsements involving investors applying for registration with the Board of Investments (BOI).
DTI Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo said that the MOA is expected to improve ease of doing business in the country. “To benefit fully from the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and global market access, it is important that we offer a conducive environment to investors, a place where they could quickly set up their business. An important first step is to make it easy for them to comply with government requirements,” he said.
According to Rodolfo, simplifying business processes, coupled with the implementation of the Comprehensive National Industrial Strategy (CNIS), is keyto the development of the agriculture sector which needs to modernize for it to be globally competitive. The CNIS links the manufacturing sector with agriculture and services sectors to mutually reinforce a virtuous cycle of growth.
DTI, as the Chair of the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Task Force, along with EODB member government agencies, presented the reforms undertaken to simplify doing business in the country. as highlight of the 4th Annual Ease of Doing Business Summit held in June 7, 2016 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
In 2010, the country’s ranking in the WB-IFC’s Doing Business Report was 148th place. Since then, we have improved by 45 notches. Right now, the Philippines is ranked 103rd among 189 economies.
Compared to 15 steps in 52 days in 2011, starting a business in the county today can be completed in six (6) steps and eight (8) days.
The Doing Business Report measures the ease of doing business across ten processes which a business must undertake with several government agencies over its typical life cycle:
- Starting a Business,
- Dealing with Construction Permits,
- Getting Electricity,
- Registering Property,
- Getting Credit,
- Protecting Investors,
- Paying Taxes,
- Trading across Borders,
- Enforcing Contracts, and
- Resolving Insolvency.
S/ASC stressed the need to reduce the stress and cost of doing business to raise Philippine competitiveness.
- 2015: 16 steps in 29 days
- 2016: 6 steps in 8 days
- 2017: 3 steps in 3 days
- Register with the SEC, BIR, SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG through the Integrated Business Registry System (IBRS);
- Obtain barangay clearance and mayor’s permit in just one or two days; and
- Review documents and pay fees.
As of December 2015, 1,456 out of 1,634 LGUs have completed streamlining while a total of 1,403 (92%) out of 1,518 were able to comply with BPLS standards.
These standards include:
- use of a unified form
- only 2 signatories: the City Mayor or City Administrator and/or Business Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO) Head
BPLS Standards, per DILG-DTI JMC (2010) pertains to:
- unified form (2-page; 1st page – signed by the owner, basic info of the business; 2nd page – filled up by LGUs, consists of the taxes, fees, charges and the required regulatory clearances e.g. barangay, zoning, sanitary, fire & safety, etc.)
- number of signatories (ARTA limits this to 5, City/Mun. Administrator are authorized by Mayor to sign)
- steps (JMC requires only 5: 1) securing form; 2) filing accomplished form with required documents; 3) assessment of taxes, fees, charges; 4) payment of taxes, fees, charges; and 5) securing the Mayor’s Permit)
- processing time
To speed up inspection, a Joint Inspection Team headed by the Business Permit and Licensing Officer (BPLO) is instituted. The Team is composed of inspectors from the Zoning, Sanitation, Sanitary, and Fire departments.
S/ASC underscored the important role of the Philippine logistics industry in economic growth.
Logistical costs account for 24 percent to 53 percent of wholesale prices while shipping and port handling costs cover eight to 30 percent, depending on the goods’ route, and roughly five percent of the retail price of goods. Cristobal noted that the Philippines has the highest logistics cost among ASEAN countries, pointing out that in Cambodia, the cost of transporting 15 metric tons of containerized auto parts from domestic ports to warehouses, in cost per kilometer, is the lowest at US$0.89. It is followed by Thailand at US$1.14. The Philippines, he said, has the highest at US$21.10.
Aldaba named the Logistics Industry Roadmap as another key element in the development plan. Furthermore, she said USAID’s Advancing Philippines Competitiveness (COMPETE) has submitted a comprehensive study on a National Logistics Master Plan.
The BOI is spearheading this year the conduct of Online Investment Assistance Training for Investors specifically how businesses and investors can maximize BOI’s One Window Network (BOI-OWN).
BOI-OWN is a cloud-based web portal and mobile application system that enables investors not only to lodge queries and concerns online, but also access a databank of information related to business and investments. It also includes a system that can track and monitor real time status of an investor’s inquiry online. BOI-OWN can also be used to request for pre-investment, post-investment, inbound mission and joint venture assistance. It also has a mobile application version called PH Board of Investments.