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Ease of Doing Business and Innovative Startup Act

Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Service Delivery Act of 2018

  • Republic Act 11032 (also referred to as Ease of Doing Business or EODB Law) is part of the continuing effort of the PH government to eliminate red tape and improve the environment for doing business in the PH.  You may recall that Item Number 3 in the President’s 10-point Socioeconomic Agenda is to “Increase competitiveness and the ease of doing business.”  The particular focus of the law is on the accountability and integrity of government service, specifically, ensuring greater efficiency in the delivery of services and preventing graft and corruption. 
  • The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the EODB Act were signed on 17 July 2019 by the Chairperson of the Civil Service Commission, the Director-General of the Anti-Red Tape Authority and the Secretary of Trade and Industry.
  • Businessmen will be pleased to note that the basics such as number of steps, signatories and documents to complete procedures will be addressed, as well as compliance and transaction costs.  For instance, prescribed processing times will be 3 days for simple transactions, 7 days for more complex transactions and 20 days for highly technical transactions.  Failure of agencies to meet such timelines will mean automatic approval of the transaction.  Automation and electronic versions of licenses, permits, certifications and authorizations will be adopted to the extent possible, under the coordination of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).  Equally important is the directive to make clear and transparent all of this information.
  • Whole-of-Government approach in reengineering government services will be adopted to ensure uniform service standards and harmonization of existing and applicable laws and consistent legal interpretations across all agencies.  The end objective is seamless end-to-end processing in the delivery of government services.
  • The monitoring and evaluation of the compliance of all government agencies shall be the responsibility of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), which is under the Office of the President.
  • The Ease of Doing Business and Anti-Red Tape Council is established to set policy directions and programs to continuously advance competitiveness and ease of doing business initiatives.  It is chaired by the DTI Secretary and has as its members the ARTA Director General, Secretaries of DICT, DILG, DOF and 2 private sector representatives.    

Innovative Startup Act of 2019

  • Signed by President Duterte in April 2019, Republic Act 11337 (or the Innovative Startup Act) forms part of the government’s policy to foster inclusive growth through innovative economy by streamlining government and nongovernment initiatives, to create new jobs and opportunities, improve production, and advance innovation and trade.
  • The law creates the Philippine Startup Development Program (PSDP), which shall be composed of programs, benefits, and incentives for startups and startup enablers. The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) are the lead agencies tasked specifically to promulgate the rules and regulations for the efficient registration and assessment of startup enablers to be registered under the PSDP.
  • Other pertinent provisions include the creation of Philippine Startup Ecozones or Special Economic Zones in order to spur the growth and development of startups and startup enablers. The DTI has also been tasked to spearhead initiatives to develop short, medium, and long-term strategies in order to spur investment in startups. Finally, the law introduces the concept of a Startup Visa which shall be issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to foreign owners, employees, and investors of startups. These shall have an initial 5-year validity, and its bearers shall be exempt from securing an Alien Employment Permit from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), subject to the implementing rules to be promulgated by the DFA. DOLE, and Bureau of Immigration.
ease of doing business

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Philippines Merchandise Trade 2014 – 2018

PH Merchandise Trade (in US$M) 2014-2018 with the UK

  2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Exports 460.73 499.59 501.06 522.21 534.89
Imports 385.62 398.66 509.18 521.61 685.10
Total Trade 846.35 898.25 1,010.24 1,043.81 1,219.99
Balance of Trade 75.11 100.93 (8.12) 0.60 (150.21)

Sources: DTI-Tradeline Philippines[1]

• The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of the PH merchandise for the total trade to the UK from 2014 to 2018 is at 9.6%. During the same period, the CAGR for import is 15.5%; whilst for export is at 3.8%.

• The top 5 PH exports over the past five years are: a) electronic products (↑7.6%); b) machinery and transport equipment (↓ 11.1%); c) other manufactures (↑ 9.2%); d) tuna (↑ 12.8%); and e) processed food and beverages (↑ 13.4). 2

• Meanwhile, the top 5 imports in 2018 are: a) optical, photographic, measuring or surgical instruments and apparatus; b) miscellaneous manufactured articles; c) furniture, bedding, mattresses; d) toys, games and sports requisites; and e) commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere.3

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PBBC Meeting September 2019 – EODB

PBBC meeting

The PBBC met in London on 24th September 2019 and amongst other topics they had a presentation on the recently enabled law on the “Ease of Doing Business” in the Philippines.

The presentation was given by Beatriz Alexandra G. Martinez, Third Secretary, Vice Consul, and Administrative Officer, Embassy of the Philippines, London.

The key slides from the presentation are presented below.

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British Business Delegation To The Philippines

The British Business Delegation To The Philippines will take place during 23 – 28 February 2020.

The PBBC are delighted to be working with the British Embassy, British Chamber of Commerce in Manila and the Makati Business Club, to offer U.K. companies this unique opportunity to do business or invest in the Philippines. Please put the dates in your diary and make contact early to secure your place on the Business Delegation.

Metro Manila


The British Business Delegation to the Philippines will include new and experienced exporters, investors, those looking to source from the market and those looking to outsource services to the Philippines. There is already strong, growing interest in tourism in the Philippines so anyone looking to increase tourism connections is also encouraged to apply. The delegation will be led by a senior and experienced PBBC Member from the UK with extensive experience of doing business in the Philippines.


The program for the delegation will include political, economic and sector briefings, business matchmaking events, site visits, business receptions and networking opportunities. One-to-one meetings can be added for a small additional fee. There will also be time for delegates to take the opportunity to explore the bustling city of Manila.

Travel & Hotel Package

The delegation will fly Philippine Air Lines (PAL) – the flag carrier of the Philippines (direct flight between London and Manila). The travel package cost will include flight, hotel accommodation for the duration of the visit and connections. 

The Philippines

The Philippines is one of the fastest growing global economies and has a rapidly expanding services industry. Economic growth has accelerated in recent years, averaging 6% GDP growth per year from 2011 to 2018 and is expected to expand at a solid pace through 2019/20 (Focus Economics). Now is the perfect time to explore the exciting business opportunities the Philippines has to offer.

More information

For more information and to sign up to the delegation please contact Melissa Dizon on 07741 654362 or by email at

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