18 September 2021- Yesterday, the World Bank Group announced the discontinuation of the Doing Business (DB) report following internal data irregularities in the 2018 and 2020 results. We at the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) are appreciative of the effects that the DB report has yielded for the country.

One such effect of this global survey is that it brought into focus the importance of streamlining, re-engineering, and automation of government services throughout the international community. It sparked a healthy competitive race amongst world economies in ensuring ease of doing business in their respective jurisdictions.

In the Philippines particularly, the desire to do better and raise the country’s competitiveness ranking in the said annual survey is one of the driving motivations for the strengthening of the old ARTA law which resulted in the passage of R.A. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018. Consequently, the said law paved the way for the creation of a new agency attached to the Office of the President, our ARTA.

ARTA has since spearheaded ease of doing business initiatives with other government agencies, the DB report serving as our guide to keep doing better. The World Bank Group had a good run in bringing countries together to share good practices in doing business.

In fact, the Philippines has been on a steady increase ever since ARTA was created in 2018. From 124th in 2019 to 95th in 2020, we projected a significant increase in 2021 for our collaborative efforts with other government agencies across the different indicators including Starting a Business and Getting Credit.

And despite this development, nothing will change in ARTA’s trajectory to improve services and carry out plans to further streamline and automate processes in the government. Even without rankings and scorings, we will continue to bolster our efforts to ensure that business processing with the government is easy, fast, and reliable.

The work for government efficiency and the battle against bureaucratic red tape is much greater than what any survey or competition could ever quantify. Rather, ARTA gives more premium on improving the customer experience of our stakeholders for every government process. This is especially relevant during this time of global pandemic where speed and efficiency of services and processes are of utmost importance. All sectors and agencies must continue to adapt and push for services that are responsive and ensures safety of the transacting public. That is why ARTA will continue to intensify our efforts towards the easing of doing business in the country and the push for a more efficient government service delivery in accordance with the President’s 0 to 10 point socio-economic agenda, particularly number 3: Increasing competitiveness and ease of doing business.

On Monday, we will be meeting with the Ease of Doing Business and Anti-Red Tape Advisory Council which includes DTI, DICT, DOF, DILG, and representatives from the private sector to discuss further steps to be taken after this. Parts of our plans will be looking into a possible localized Doing Business Ranking for our cities and municipalities to nurture healthy competition and recognize good initiatives of local government units. Moreover, we aim to roll out the Report Card Survey by the end of this year to effectively measure the compliance of government agencies to the EODB law.

Rest assured, ARTA will continue championing ease of doing business initiatives because the ultimate measure of success in the Philippines will always be the satisfaction and convenience of the people.