The cover of the BizNews Asia, vol. 13, no. 22 reads “If you want to start a business, don’t start it in the Philippines”. This is further expounded on in a paragraph also found on the lower part of the cover page:
The World Bank ranks the Philippines 95th in ease of doing business, 161st in starting a business, 124th in dealing with construction permits, 108th in registering property, 104th in getting credit, 127th in paying taxes, 124th in enforcing contracts, 65th in trading across borders, and 50th in resolving insolvency. Considering that there are 189 economies, the Philippine rankings are a disgrace and put a lie to claims of Daang Matuwid. There is so much red tape and graft every time businessmen try to start a business or do business.
The World Bank data quoted can also be found here.
Recall that in September 2013, BizNews Asia featured in its cover Philippine Congress with the caption “the Philippines’ biggest criminal syndicate” in light of the controversy surrounding lawmakers and the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), better known as the pork barrel.
Red tape, graft, and an extremely inefficient government bureaucracy are some of the most obvious signs of the corruption that investors, both local and foreign, have cited as one of the biggest issues and hindrances to doing business in the Philippines.
What can be seemingly noted here, is that despite all the rhetoric of president Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino’s Daang Matuwid (straight path) – and especially with its supposed emphasis on fighting corruption – the current government has been rather ineffectual at curbing it. Perhaps one can be forgiven for thinking that it has been complicit in maintaining it.
After 5 years, the Aquino administration still has very little to show in its “fight against corruption”. There is only so much blaming on the predecessor and on BS Aquino’s political enemies that can be done before his incompetence is bared.
Actually, that mark has already been crossed. Many times over.
Now that the 2016 national elections are on the horizon, Filipinos can expect corruption to become a hot-button topic once again during the campaign period.
Whether Filipinos and all who intend to run for government positions can do anything different in the future will remain a big, debatable question for years.
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