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Competition commissioner touts red tape reduction as big help to small businesses

MICRO, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will find it easier to do business if they receive efficient services from their regulators, the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) said on Wednesday.

“Many of our MSMEs would stand to benefit more from a streamlining of the regulatory process, the qualification requirements and procedures, the licensing requirements and procedures that are required to set up the business,” PCC Commissioner Johannes Benjamin R. Bernabe said during a webinar hosted by the PCC and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He said this underlies the PCC’s position on the proposed Retail Trade Liberalization Act (RTLA).

In September, the Commission called for a transitory period for the lowering of the capitalization requirement for foreign retail investors, which was reduced to $200,000 or approximately P10 million, from $2.5 million.

During the webinar, Mr. Bernabe noted that the high cost of complying with regulation hindered MSMEs.

Earlier, he said that there should be an “easing of regulatory permit requirements in improving credit access for MSMEs.”

GCash Head of Key Merchants and Acquirers Maria Ana Leticia Pascual said all participants in the fintech industry have to develop various solutions for MSMEs.

“This is now going to be one of our major thrusts in the coming years. How do we provide more solutions for MSMEs? How do we bring them on to the market, and how do we give them the tools that they can compete on a level playing field with even the bigger players?” Ms. Pascual said during the webinar.

The amendments to the proposed RTLA or House Bill No. 59 passed on third reading last March. — Angelica Y. Yang

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