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Philippines’ Local Governments Improving Business Regulation and Empowering Entrepreneurs, Finds World Bank Group

Makati City, Philippines, December 8, 2010— Over the past two years, 13 out of 20 cities in the Philippines carried out 19 regulatory improvements to make it easier to start and operate a business in their localities, according to Doing Business in the Philippines 2011 .  Launched today, the joint IFC-World Bank report is the second in a series analyzing business regulations from the perspective of a small to midsize domestic firm in Philippine cities.  Five cities were added this year, bringing the total to 25.
The results are positive, with 65 percent of the cities benchmarked for the second time since 2008 showing positive reforms in at least one of the three areas measured – starting a business, registering property, and dealing with construction permits. It is easiest to start a business in General Santos, obtain construction permits in Davao City, and register property in Valenzuela.
“A regulatory environment where entrepreneurs can start a business and then grow their firms can expand opportunities for the poor,” said Janamitra Devan, IFC-World Bank Vice President, Financial and Private Sector Development.  “The progress in regulatory improvements at the local level in the Philippines is an important step toward expanding business opportunities throughout the country.”
Many of the improvements came from re-engineering business processes, reducing fees, and using new technology.  For starting a business, Pasay eliminated two procedures in the business permit application process.  Notaries in Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela reduced their fees for preparing sale deeds and related documents, saving money for local entrepreneurs.  Cebu City’s Register of Deeds completed the nationwide land titling computerization project, which cut in half the time to register property title from 10 days to five days.  
Doing Business in the Philippines 2011 documents the wide variations in local business regulations across the country.  The high numbers of procedures, expenses, and requirements continue to be the biggest challenge for local entrepreneurs.  While no single city does equally well on all three indicators, Taguig and Valenzuela are consistently ranked in the top seven across all three indicators.  
The study was conducted in partnership with the Asian Institute of Management Policy Center.  It was funded by the Australian Agency for International Development, the Canadian International Development Agency, the United States Agency for International Development, and the Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group.
For more information, please visit www.doingbusiness.org/philippines/ .
About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. For more information, please visit www.worldbank.org , www.miga.org , and www.ifc.org .