A U.S.-funded program whose aim is to “address the constraints that impede the overall business climate of the Philippines and consequently improve levels of investments in the country” is on the horizon. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) plans to launch the 2-3 year endeavor, known as the Investment Enabling Environment (INVEST) Project, so that it can help make “regulations less cumbersome” for Philippine business owners.
USAID ultimately intends to accomplish that task by lowering the cost of compliance with -- and “limiting the scope” of -- excessive bureaucratic oversight, according to a presolicitation notice (#SOL-492-11-000011) that the Monitor located via routine database research.
The primary “reform-oriented components” of the INVEST Project will be:
Streamlining business registration process and lowering business transaction costs of compliance with rules and regulations. The overall objective of this component is to reduce the steps, time and costs (both official and non-official) that business operators in the targeted cities spend interfacing with national government agencies and local governments to obtain business permits or to renew them.
Improving investment planning and promotion in targeted cities. The overall objective of this component is to facilitate the entry of new business ventures that will generate employment and increase revenues for local governments.
Launching the program will be “contingent upon the availability of funds,” the document says. If and when those funds become available, USAID apparently will be poised to award a contract to a hand-picked vendor, as it made clear that the agency will seek “approval of a Justification for Other than Full and Open Competition.”
USAID did not provide an estimated cost of the INVEST project.