MANILA—The Department of Finance and the Department of Trade and Industry on Wednesday slammed a World Bank report evaluating the ease of doing business in different countries that allegedly showed "grossly inaccurate findings" in the Philippines.
The 2019 World Bank Doing Business (DB) report showed that the country dropped by 11 notches from 113 in 2018 to 124 this year.
A total of 190 countries were ranked.
The DOF has sent a letter of complaint to the World Bank to "formally challenge portions of the data and methodology applied by the Bank that led to the Philippines’ drop in the DB rankings."
"We demand that the World Bank review the Philippines’ rating, and make a correction immediately given our country’s increases in the ease of doing business (EODB) scores, which was, unfortunately, offset by the grossly inaccurate and understated findings in the Getting Credit indicator of the Report," the agencies said in a joint statement.
"This correction should be done soon as the report could unduly compromise the Philippines’ standing among the investment community and negatively impact the country’s development."
The country posted increases on 7 out of 10 indicators but still received a lower ranking, which was mainly due to its low Getting Credit score of 5, from 30 in 2018, the agencies said.
They attributed the low score to the "failure of the World Bank’s survey team to gather the correct information on the country’s credit information database."
"The Philippines should have obtained a higher score if the World Bank included data from all the credit bureaus," they said.
"Instead, it obtained its data only from the BAP Credit Bureau Inc, which has the smallest database of 1.7 million borrower-entrepreneurs."
The agencies said the World Bank must "ensure that an economy is not unduly disadvantaged and that its report reflect the realities on the ground."
"While the World Bank has taken governments to task by fostering an enabling environment characterized by efficient business regulations, so must the World Bank exercise responsibility and greater transparency in its methodology," they said.