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Doing Business in the Phillippines 2008: New Report Compares 21 Cities to Help Improve Competitiveness, Create Jobs


Manila, Phillippines, May 2008—The ease of doing business varies greatly among cities in the Philippines, according to Doing Business in the Philippines 2008, a new report launched today by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group. The report addresses how cities can improve their business environments by sharing and adopting best practices. It is the first subnational report of the Doing Business series to study the Philippines and was produced in partnership with the National Competitiveness Council and the Asian Institute of Management Policy Center.

The report covers 21 cities and three areas of regulation—starting a business, dealing with licenses, and registering property. It finds that city regulations and the interpretation and implementation of national laws vary greatly, thereby constraining or promoting local business activity. For example, it takes 21 days in Mandaluyong to transfer a property title, compared to six weeks in Mandaue. To build a warehouse and connect basic utilities requires 23 procedures in Taguig and 33 in Mandaue and Pasig.

The report also finds that both national and subnational governments are responsible for creating a positive business environment. Starting a business in the 21 cities takes an average of 18 procedures, 11 of which are required nationally and seven by local governments.

“Doing Business in the Philippines is a diagnostic tool that provides actionable information for designing and implementing reforms to guide local officials in creating competitive environments to attract new investments,” said Federico M. Macaranas, Executive Director of the Asian Institute of Management Policy Center and a core member of the National Competitiveness Council.

“The new report can help cities identify opportunities for reform. IFC will help implement follow-up initiatives for simplifying business processes that will accelerate private sector development and improve people’s lives,” said Jesse Ang, IFC Resident Representative for the Philippines.

“The report also provides important insights for local governments and aims to catalyze reforms. Cities that do well in creating a good business climate are also likely to do well in poverty alleviation. The World Bank and IFC are therefore keen to support reform-minded local governments around the country,” added Bert Hofman, World Bank Country Director.

Payoffs from reform can be huge. Higher rankings on the ease of doing business are associated with growth, more jobs, and a smaller informal sector. “Philippine cities would benefit from new enterprises and jobs that come with better regulations. Doing Business in the Philippines highlights the opportunities for collaboration between national and local governments to cut red tape and reduce the cost of doing business,” said Peter B. Favila, Secretary of Trade and Industry and a co-chair of the National Competitiveness Council.

Doing Business in the Philippines 2008 was also supported by the Australian Agency for International Development and the Canadian International Development Agency. It is based on the efforts of more than 218 lawyers, accountants, architects, contractors, accountants, engineers, property specialists, and national and local public officials. For more information or to download the report, visit


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