The Philippines ranks 95th in the “Ease of Doing Business” Report 2020 by the World Bank
In a report released last Thursday (October 24) by the World Bank, it was found that the ease of doing business in the Philippines has improved over the past year.
The Washington-based multilateral lender’s annual report looks into the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it to judge how easy it is to conduct business activities in a country.
According to the World Bank, starting a business in the Philippines became easier following the abolition of the minimum capital requirement for domestic companies.
The Philippines also made dealing with construction permits easier by improving coordination and streamlining the process for obtaining an occupancy certificate.
Also, protection for minority investors was strengthened by requiring greater disclosure of transactions with interested parties and enhancing director liability for dealings with interested parties.
The country’s score improved from 60.9 previously, to now 62.8, but comparing this to its neighboring countries in the Asia Pacific region, the Philippines is still quite below most nations.
Singapore ranked 2nd, Hong Kong on 3rd, Malaysia bagging the 12th place, Taiwan at 15th, Thailand grabbing the 21st spot, China with the 31st, Brunei owning the 66th place, Vietnam at the 70th, Indonesia at 73rd, and Mongolia landing 81st.
New Zealand remained as the most business-friendly country in the world while Somalia was the worst with a score of 20.
Private hospitals might no longer renew accreditation from PhilHealth
Many private hospitals might opt not to renew their accreditation with the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
The Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines (PHAPi) said in an open letter addressed to PhilHealth President Ricardo Morales that most hospitals have yet to receive their reimbursements from PhilHealth.
In addition, several health centers from Mindanao were also removed from their qualifying list of accredited hospitals saying that there are complaints against them.
They also claimed that these hospitals were not given the opportunity to be heard in a formal hearing.
Health Secretary Duque emphasized that almost every Filipino were members of PhilHealth and if hospitals won’t renew their accreditations, the company would not be paying them.
“PhilHealth cannot pay them. Only patients who can pay will pay them. But why will the patient pay them knowing that he has his benefits right under the PhilHealth law? That’s why it’s a lose-lose situation. It’s not a solution,” as per DOH Secretary Duque.
Revoking their accreditations could also result in private hospitals rejecting patients under the service of PhilHealth, thus harming their fellow Filipinos.
“So, the service to poor Filipinos who need it, especially the sick, will be gone. You will turn your back on the sick? I think that is not right,” he said.
“They should not give up their accreditation because that will certainly compromise our capacity to provide much needed health-care services to members of PhilHealth,” he added.
Quezon City is the Most Competitive LGU for the fourth year in a row
Quezon City dominated the annual list measuring the competitiveness of local government units (LGU) in the country for the fourth time, elevating the city to the Hall of Fame of the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI).
The result for this year was released last Thursday (October 24) during the 7th Regional Competitiveness Summit held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.
According to the report from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Metro Manila contributed the biggest share to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018 and topped the rankings with a total of 36%, followed by Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon (CALABARZON) with 17%, and Central Luzon with 9.8%.
The list of cities showed that out of the ten most competitive cities, six were from Metro Manila. It was led by capital’s localities with Quezon City grabbing the 1st place, Manila at 2nd, Pasay owning the 4th place, Makati bagging the 5th place, and Pasig and Muntinlupa at 6th and 8th place respectively.
Outside the capital, Davao got the 3rd place, and Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, and Bacolod came at 7th, 9th, and 10th place respectively.
In terms of economic dynamism, which looks at an LGU’s productivity and economic activity, including the size and growth of the local economy (business registrations, capital, revenue, permits), capacity to generate jobs, cost of living, cost of businesses, etc. the top ten cities included Pasay at the top spot.
Davao climbed up to the 2nd place, while Quezon City slid down from last year’s 1st to 3rd place, and Manila, Makati, Pasig, Baguio, Parañaque, Bacolod, and Cagayan de Oro were at the 4th to 10th places respectively.
When it comes to the efficiency of the government, which refers to the nobility and fidelity of the LGU and its services and support for demonstrable productive expansion, Quezon City, Manila, and Davao landed the first three spots followed by Pasig, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Muntinlupa, Taguig, Makati, and Bacolod.
The infrastructure side was again topped by Quezon City. Included in the list were Manila, Davao, Pasay, Makati, Cebu, Muntinlupa, Pasig, Parañaque, and Cagayan de Oro.
In the resilience part, however, which refers to the city’s capacity to maintain effectiveness, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, and Davao were among the top three, followed by Quezon City, Manila, Makati, Navotas, Muntinlupa, Pasay, and Pasig.
Rizal province dominated the rally for the most competitive municipalities with Cainta (Rizal) topping the list, followed by Taytay (Rizal), Baliwag (Bulacan), Santa Maria (Bulacan), Binangonan (Rizal), San Mateo (Rizal), Rodriguez (Rizal), Silang (Cavite), Carmona (Cavite), and Angono (Rizal).
The CALABARZON region controlled the most competitive category, with Rizal dominating the list for the fourth time. Laguna and Cavite came in at 2nd and 3rd place.
The three most advanced LGUs came from the highly urbanized cities of Valenzuela and Malabon who landed in the top spot. They are followed by Angeles (Pampanga) at 2nd place, and Parañaque and Caloocan who both landed the 3rd place.
The category for component cities however was topped by Meycauayan (Bulacan), followed by Tangub (Misamis Occidental) and Toledo (Cebu) sharing the 2nd place, and San Jose del Monte (Bulacan) at 3rd place.
Among first to second class municipalities, Plaridel (Bulacan), Pandi (Bulacan), and Santa Rosa (Nueva Ecija) grabbed the top three spots while among third to sixth class municipalities, Poro (Cebu), Penaranda (Nueva Ecija), and Tabina (Zamboanga del Sur) are the top three municipalities.
IBR Shows Filipino business leaders are the World’s Most Optimistic
Grant Thornton International’s quarterly International Business Report (IBR) for May-June this year found that business leaders from the Philippines are the world’s most optimistic when it comes to the economy’s overall outlook.
This is in contrast to how Philippine companies were viewed in the country, especially when it comes to revenue expectations and profitability forecasts, which are low in general.
It was showed in Grant Thornton International’s IBR that overall global optimism, which is computed by deducting total optimistic from total pessimistic, fell in the first half of 2019 to 32% as compared to the data from the second half of 2018.
Filipino business leaders’ overall optimism level stood the highest among all the economies surveyed at 73%. The top ten is completed by Vietnam (72%), Indonesia (66%), India (64%), Ireland (63%), Botswana (60%), Netherlands (55%), Nigeria (52%), United States (52%), and China (45%) respectively.
A total of 4,928 respondents was covered by the survey, 105 respondents were from the Philippines. Survey participants include chairmen or other senior executives, chief executive officers, ad managing directors from across all industries.
Chairperson and CEO Españo even added that the steady flow of remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as well as bigger capital spending by the government were some of the reasons why the overall economic growth and optimism in the country is increasing.
Despite that, global optimism continues to drop and concerns are raised in the mid-market that is why for the next 12 months, global outlook drops for three consecutive years now, having a net optimism decrease of 7%, from the previous 39% in the second half of 2018, to now 32%.
“Economic uncertainty remains elevated, with 46% of firms identifying this as a constraint to business growth,” the report said.
CEO Españo emphasized that there is a bigger room for improvement and that uncertainties and opportunities can be manage especially with the competitive and long-term success of using technology.