July 31, 2012
Through the assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Department of Tourism (DOT) is collaborating with other government agencies in minimizing excessive regulations and overbearing bureaucracy to improve the Philippines’ competitiveness in the region.
The ADB extends its help through a technical assistance program under the PHI Strengthening Institutions for an Improved Investment Climate with the Philippine Government. The same assistance is also extended to other developing countries like Lao PDR and Cambodia.
The program complements the Philippine Government’s earlier move in creating the National Competitiveness Council (NCC), which is tasked to develop strategies and instill a culture of excellence through public-private sector collaboration. NCC works closely with the Anti-Red Tape Task Force and focuses on 11 areas expected to improve the country’s competitiveness.
“This initiative is necessary if the tourism sector is to realize its full potential. Our regulations must be in line with the expectations and demands of all tourism stakeholders. In keeping with our campaign, we would like to take FUN to a deeper level to mean good governance and competitive offerings that practice good business and proper management. FUN means easy, convenient, and hassle-free, which should be evident across the tourism value chain,” Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez enthused.
DOT, together with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Department of Finance (DOF), is set to pilot the institutionalization of the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA). One of the key features of the RIA system is setting up the Office of Best Regulatory Practice to propose and review regulations, as well as train officials in compliance with RIA requirements.
The RIA is a process that provides instructions on how to develop regulations of best practice principles, target the issues and meet objectives through analyses, impact assessments, and consultations. This includes tours, seminars, and consultations to arrive at the most optimal regulation.
Recently conducted is the Regulatory Impact Assessment Advocacy Seminar, participated in by tourism and labor stakeholders and local government units to streamline processes, improve regulations, and reduce unnecessary regulations or red tape. The RIA Advocacy Seminar complements sound fiscal and macro-economic policies, as well as advocates for a well-functioning regulatory system, an essential component of modern society. The seminars were held in Davao City on July 30 and in Cebu City on July 31.
In the 2012 World Bank Global Survey, the Philippines ranked 136th out of 183 countries in terms of ease in doing business. The country’s rankings in other areas are as follows: starting a business (#158); getting credit (#126); protecting investors (rank #113); paying taxes (#136); and trading across borders (#51).
“This initiative is just one of the many strategies in place to inform various stakeholders about the importance of constantly improving policies. We can definitely move up our country’s ranking through effective and efficient regulations. We are proud to set an example for other government agencies. Less red tape means more fun,” exclaimed Secretary Jimenez.###
SOURCE: Philippine Department of Tourism, Office of Marketing Communications