Davao tops business climate survey

Subscribe Now March 03, 2014 at 08:52am

The city government of Davao got the highest rating among seven areas in the country under the 2013 Enterprise Survey on Corruption by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

Aside from Metro Davao, the other areas surveyed by the SWS were: National Capital Region, Metro Angeles, Cavite-Laguna-Batangas, Metro Iloilo, Metro Cebu and Cagayan de Oro-Iligan City.

A total of 86% of businessmen surveyed were satisfied with the Davao City government when it comes to promoting a good business climate in the city. This is a 10-percentage point increase from the 76% that the city received during the same SWS survey conducted in 2009.

"The city government got a considerably very high rating from the business sector when it comes to fighting corruption and providing a good business climate here," said Mahar K. Mangahas, SWS president, after his presentation last Friday on "Boosting Regional Competitiveness through Public-Private Partnership."

Mr. Mangahas said Davao’s result is outstanding considering businessmen from Manila and all the other regions have lower ratings on their respective local government units. The business sector of Metro Iloilo rated its city government 83%; Metro Angeles, 81%; Cavite-Laguna-Batangas, 74%; Metro Cebu, 70%; Cagayan de Oro-Iligan, 57%, and Metro Manila, 52%.

Businessmen in the city seem to be very appreciative of local government’s performance compared with the other cities’ businessmen since they rated the Davao City government "outstanding" when it comes to fighting corruption.

Up to 41% of the enterprises interviewed nationwide said most companies in the same line of business give bribes to win public sector contracts, a 17% reduction from the 58% in 2005.

However, only 10% of Davao companies admitted that firms in their sector allot a percentage for bribes to win public contracts, compared with 20% in all other areas.

Marina Saldana, program officer of the National Competitive Council, said Davao City’s ratings are the most impressive among all the others presented by Mr. Mangahas. However, she said, documentation is very important to show why Davao got such very good reviews.

While Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte is happy that the businessmen perception that the local government has provided a good business climate for them with emphasis on the latter’s action against corruption, he said the city has not been exempted from the perception of bribery.

Thus, Mr. Duterte renewed his call for the 72-hour processing of permits, and licensing for all local government offices provided all documentary and other requirements are submitted. "We may be number one when it comes to providing a good business climate, but there is a perception that asking and giving of bribe is still present and we must improve on this," he said.

"The longer the paper stays (in an office) the more chances of getting money (from the applicant)," he said. Mr. Duterte has earlier reshuffled the heads of the local office particularly the Business Bureau to enforce such directive.

He said even if one allegation of corruption in an office is proven to be true, he will immediately call for the removal of the head of office down to the janitor because he wants all city hall offices to work as a team.

The 2013 SWS Survey was conducted with the support of the Australian Aid agency, the Asia Foundation, and in partnership with the National Competitiveness Council and the Makati Business Club.

Source: bworldonline.com

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