by Louise Maureen Simeon – The Philippine Star, 18 Sep 2021
MANILA, Philippines — The World Bank will cease the publication of its flagship Doing Business report, which was previously questioned by the Philippines, following allegations of irregularities.
In a statement Friday, the Washington-based multilateral lender said the management decided to discontinue the publication of its flagship Doing Business report which started in 2003.
The annual report measures the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. It presents quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 190 economies over the last 17 years.
The decision came after World Bank’s review of all information available to date on Doing Business, including the findings of past reviews and audits.
It also stemmed from the data irregularities found on the report’s edition in 2018 and 2020, which were reported internally.
Further, the decision came following an investigation that found ex-World Bank chief Kristalina Georgieva putting “undue pressure” on staff to change some of the information to improve China’s rating in the bank’s “Doing Business 2018” report.
“Because the internal reports raised ethical matters, including the conduct of former Board officials as well as current and/or former bank staff, management reported the allegations to the Bank’s appropriate internal accountability mechanisms,” the World Bank said.
The multilateral lender said it remains committed to advancing the role of the private sector in development and providing support to governments to design the regulatory environment that supports such.
“Going forward, we will be working on a new approach to assessing the business and investment climate,” it said.
The Philippines contested the report in 2015 and 2019.
In the Doing Business 2020 report, the Philippines ranked 95th out of 190 economies with a score of 62.8, up from 124th with a score of 57.68 in 2019.