With 38 commercial banks operating in the Philippines, banking dominates the financial sector. Five big commercial banks - two of them state-owned - control a sizeable share of the total assets. The government runs a small Islamic bank, which caters mostly to Muslim citizens in the South. Although credit is generally allocated at market terms, banks have to lend part of their money to preferred sectors.
To start, run, and close a business is constrained by a multitude of regulations. Starting a business takes about 38 days and 15 procedures. To close a business can be a complicated and lengthy procedure.
Non-salary costs of an employee are low, but inflexible labour regulations make firing an employee a complicated procedure.