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NCC plans to cut around 5,000 ‘red-tape’ measures in December

Chris Schnabel
NCC plans to cut around 5,000 ‘red-tape’ measures in December
The government gains momentum in its bid remove outdated laws that complicate doing business in the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – The National Competitiveness Council’s (NCC) program of cutting bureaucracy gets a boost through technical assistance from the UK as the agency steps up plans to get rid of around 5,000 outdated laws by December.

Dubbed “Project Repeal,” the program is a government-wide initiative that addresses the growing need to cut red tape across agencies and make it easier to do business in the country.

Launched in the first quarter of this year, the project has already gone through one round of removals in June when it cut 3,777 regulations.

“We just want to strip away any [regulations] that we and government agencies feel are no longer necessary. The volume is large but these are essentially old, outdated laws that are no longer necessary so that when they disappear you won’t feel them as much,” said NCC co-chairman Guillermo Luz on Tuesday, October 4.

“The project is currently looking at 22,000 outdated laws in the pipeline and I would say at least 5,000 should make it to the final cut in December,” he added.

The project was given a boost by the British embassy which has granted it technical assistance through the Asia Pacific Bilateral Programme.

The assistance will be used for the development of a Standard Cost Model for Project Repeal to make systematic deliberations on which regulations to cut.

“There are so many targets for change so you want to see which one will get the most results. Between two regulations, the model will allow us to see which regulation is costing the public more,” Luz explained.

Eventually the assistance will also help create a regulatory impact assessment system that takes into account the cost of making the public comply with a law.

The rollout will initially consist of workshops to be held with British consultants in October and December, with implementation of the model to begin in early 2017.

More competitive corporate code

While Luz said that not all anti-red tape measures in the pipeline will immediately affect the country’s competitiveness, they will contribute to it, and there are also efforts underway that will make bigger headway. (READ: PH slips 10 notches in 2016 WEF Global Competitiveness)

“We just wanted to get the process moving but of course as we move up especially when we get to the Republic Acts, the effect will be more significant,” Luz said.

One of the biggest ongoing projects is the proposed amendment of the Corporation Code, an initiative led by the Securities and Exchange Commission that is supported by the NCC.

The proposal is currently at the committee level in Congress and if it passes both chambers early next year, it will have a tangible effect on the competitive rankings, the NCC head pointed out.

“It’s major, and while it doesn’t fall under the repeal project being an amendment, it will have the effect of taking out some items which would be significant,” Luz explained.

Other beneficial measures covered by the proposed amendment include creation of a one-person corporation and protection of minority shareholder rights. –

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