Press Release
May 28, 2018

President Duterte Signs Ease of Doing Business Act

President Rodrigo Duterte signs today in Malacañang the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act. The new law amended RA9845 or the Anti Red Tape Act of2007.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel F. Zubiri, sponsor and author of the law said, "We are witnessing the signing of a vital legislation, the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Law. This law is custom-made to hyper-activate business in the Philippines. We all want to grow businesses, big or small, be they old establishments or new firms. We all know that the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Law is long overdue."

"We knew that bureaucratic red tape and a maze of processes slowed down transactions and discouraged Filipinos from setting up businesses. These drove away foreign investors in droves. Government procedures slowed business like EDSA traffic slowed down everyone in Highway 54. This law will be the skyway and subway and its expanding radial and circumferential highways that will liberate businesses from the gridlock of red tape, graft and corruption," Zubiri added.

Sen. Zubiri said, "This law will likewise benefit everybody including government itself, whose agencies are tasked to reform its cantankerous and crabby ways. Business activities will accelerate in geometric progression as entrepreneurs become confident that government indeed delivers the services they need in record time as never before."

"Yes, today this piece of legislation appears to be relevant only to businessmen and entrepreneurs who have suffered red tape, graft and corruption. As I had experienced, the hundreds of signatures needed seemed like a sticky web from which there was no escape. Fixers boastfully compounded lies to create a stickier web of lagay that forced you to spit out padulas. No wonder that the underground economy was booming. Gusto mo maging legal, pinahihirapan ka pa. Simula sa barangay, pataas, napakahirap makumpleto ng mga dokumento. Sa akin mismo ay nangyari iyan."

This law will be accompanied by memos, circulars and directives that will streamline, make transparent and facilitate government procedures at all levels. The law has the following salient features:

1. streamlined procedures and shorter processing time for government transactions;

2. automatic approval clause will apply if an application or request is not acted upon within the prescribed processing time;

3. adoption of Zero Contact policy;

4. Creation of the One central business portal to receive and obtain data involving business related transactions;

5. Creation of the Philippine Business Databank;

6. Creation of Anti-Red tape Authority and the Ease of Doing Business/Anti-Red Tape Advisory Council; and

7. Increase in penalties, among others.

Zubiri warns that government employees and officials who fail to comply with the law will face stiffer penalties.

This signing of the law is made amidst the sliding of the Philippines in the Institute for Management Development (IMD) 2018 Competitiveness Ranking from the 41st to the 50th spot. Zubiri said that he is optimistic that with the signing of the law the country will bounce back if not higher in competitiveness rankings. "Last month, the World Bank representatives also interviewed me on this legislation, however, they mentioned that the positive effects on the Philippines ranking will be felt much later or until the impact of the implementation of the law is felt by the business community."

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