MANILA, Philippines - To speed up issuance of business permits and licenses, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) launched on Friday a project to streamline these processes in cities and municipalities.
The joint Memorandum Circular for the Nationwide Streamlining of Business Permits and Licensing System (BPLS) for local government units (LGUs) project was signed by DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo and DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo, in the presence of LGU representatives.
A circular outlines the guidelines and standards for processing business permits.
"Malaki ang pakinabang nito sa Pilipinas, titingnan na tayo ng mga investors, di lang ito pang local kundi pang-international. It will bring more money to the governments and create jobs," Domingo said.
He added the BPLS will minimize graft and corruption by removing several steps that drag the processing.
Robredo said that based on a nationwide survey by the department, it takes an average of 5 days to renew a business permit. Under the new system, they aim to shorten it to 2 to 3 days.
In getting a new permit, meanwhile, the program aims to shorten it from an average of 10 days to 5 days.
The program will have 4 components:
- Simplification and Standardization of BPLS for new registration and renewals
- Improving Customer Relations
- Institutionalization of Reforms
Under the BPLS, all LGUs will use a unified form to process business permit applications and renewals.
There will be five major steps for processing:
- Securing an application from the city or municipal government
- Filing or submission of accomplished form with attached dcoumentary requirwements (e.g. SEC/DTI/CDA certificates of registration, location map, barangay clearance, etc)
- One-time assessment of taxes, fees, and charges
- One-time payment of taxes, fees, and charges
- Securing a Mayor's Permit upon submission of official recepits as proof of payment of taxes, fees, and charges imposed by the LGU
Robredo said they will review the steps needed to get permits, and then they will remove unecessary steps, such as fire safety inspections.
They are also planning to extend deadlines in getting certificates from the Social Security Systems (SSS) and Pag-IBIG Fund to shorten the waiting period. This means, those applying for businesses go on with the processing of their permits and then the certificates can then be submitted later.
"Masama namang hindi ito mai-submit, pero masama rin na ito ang maging caue of delay," he said.
Classification of businesses
Robredo added they are also planning to classify businesses based on ther performance.
"Magkakaroon ng negative list - 'yung ang dadaan sa lahat ng steps. Pero 'yung compliant - assessment and bayad na lang 'yun, parang isang continuing process na lang siya," he said.
They are looking at ways to penalize LGUs that won't follow the new procedure, he said.
"Ang problema walang batas to compel them but there's a proposal na magkaroon ng penalties na paglabag sa Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007," he said.
Robredo also said that they want to computerize the system.
Some LGUs that have fast processing of applications are the cities of Marikina, Naga, and San Fernando, Pampanga.
The DILG chief said that they hope at least 200 LGUs will start improvements under the system.
They are targeting improvements within 2 to 3 months, and aim to see changes within 6 to 12 months of implementation of the program. Report from Niña Corpuz, ABS-CBN News