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PIA Press Release

IFC officials hope study could be of use to Davao

by Prix D Banzon

Davao City (12 July) -- Davao City being ranked 3rd as a responsive local government unit in the Philippine Cities Competitive Ranking Project of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) could perhaps look at the result of study conducted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank where areas need to improve on.

IFC Associate Operations Officer Gerlin Cantagui in an interview after presenting the result of the study among stakeholders at the 8th Davao City Business Conference at the Davao Convention and Trade Center on Friday said that they hope it could be of use not only to policy makers but the business sector.

Davao City Councilor Peter Laviņa, city council committee chair on trade and commerce in a separate interview also in the same venue said the study is erroneous saying they had disputed the result.

"I don't think it was scientific and if there is greater advocacy it should be to the national government," he said.

He said even before the result of the study the requirements for registration of businesses have been minimized and the on-stop-shop operates all year round.

Lavina said the result will have an effect to new entrant businesses who does not know that much about Davao City and they will be discouraged.

"The study is not helpful because it is erroneous and never did IFC meet with the Davao City Council which is the body that creates laws," he said.

Cantagui for her part said they want to present the data for sustainability and must be looked at how flexible they can use the data.

As the delivery of the result of the study where it created varied negative reactions mostly from the Davao City officials she said they just deliver the message.

"Don't shoot the messenger and in terms of action we can only support," she said.

She said given such issues it is now how the authorities would listen to it.

"Is this government listening to issues or being responsive," she said.

She said it is now how the local government units or the national government agencies respond to the issues.

Cantagui said they adopted the same methodologies to the 21 cities in the country and reiterated that the study is not on competitiveness but on documented regulations, procedures, cost and actual practice.

She said these are list of laws and procedures where they gathered and validated with the concerned agencies both at the local and national level.

She said they presented the plan to conduct such study to the local government units and national agencies in August 2007 and presented the preliminary findings with the same stakeholders in February 2008.

The IFC study among others showed that starting a business in Davao City takes an average of 23 procedures in 42 days and costs P15,110.

Lavina meanwhile said that there are steps in the processing that would only take hours but Cantagui said the method applied is by the day processing and this applies to all.

He said what takes the processing too long are those required by national agencies and some of these agencies require the local government units to implement their work.

Cantagui on the other hand said that the study is not erroneous even as she said that perhaps the role of the legislators with the result of the study is on what they can recommend so changes could be initiated.

She said as this is attuned to the Anti-Red Tape Act the national government wants to improve on the global ranking where Philippines is at 133rd.

Davao City Councilor Myrna Dalodo-Ortiz said the IFC study will be presented at the City Council on July 22 after the AIM will present the PCCRP on July 15. (PIA) [top]

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