Business Permit, Pabibilisin!!!

CALAMBA CITY, Laguna, July 18 (PIA) -- Sixteen municipalities in Laguna participated in a workshop held July 1 at the Calamba City Hall complex to simplify and speed-up business permits and licensing system (BPLS).

The municipalities of Cavinti, Famy, Kalayaan, Luisiana, Lumban, Mabitac, Magdalena, Majayjay, Paete, Pagsanjan, Pakil, Pangil, Pila, Siniloan, Sta. Maria and Sta. Cruz trimmed down processing steps down to the minimum 4 steps.

The reforms included the reduction of requirements in documents, clearances and the number of signatories, and the setting of maximum transaction times for every sub-process.

According to the World Bank Doing Business Report, the current process to register a business will take 48 days, 11 processes, and $237.12 (more than P11,000) to register a start-up business in the Philippines.
In 2008, it listed the Philippines at 151 out of 181 countries in the area of starting a business.
The Philippines is left behind by its ASEAN brothers in terms of hosting direct foreign investments due to the perception that starting a business in the country is difficult.

The poor ranking prompted the National Competitiveness Council (NCC), a public-private task force to improve the country’s competitiveness. One major area determined to be improved through streamlining is the permits and licensing system of local governments.

The streamlining project, backed by the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 and the DILG-DTI Joint Memorandum Circular 01:2010, is spearheaded by the Department of Interior Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Speaking at the workshop, DTI Calabarzon Regional Director Marilou Quinco-Toledo told participants that too many process steps and lengthy transaction times would be too burdensome for businessmen that would prompt them to operate unregistered thus a loss of revenues for local governments.

"Conversely, simplification and reduction of turn-over times would certainly encourage more businesses and investments to be generated", Director Toledo said.

"Not only that, the streamlining would also minimize if not eliminate red-tape and encourage more businesses to register instead of operating underground and would translate into increased revenues for the local governments", Toledo added.

Matt Navalta, country representative of the Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO), provided information on how his organization could support local governments for the their alignment with e-Governance via e-BPLS.

Lucban (Quezon) councilor Albert Emmanuel Permalino, president of the eGovernance for Municipal Development, Inc. (eGov4MD,an organization that lead the eGovernance revolution in the country) and at the same time representing the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP), presented e-Govt4MD's successful roll-out as assisted by the CESO and the LMP.

Edgardo Nicolas, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce Inc. (PCCI) Governor for Southern Luzon announced PCCI’s Most Business-Friendly Local Government 2011, a recognition and awards program to motivate local governments to pursue excellence in governance particularly in business processing and licensing.

Overall, the reform is expected to improve the Philippine's business climate and competitiveness thus making the country more attractive to investors. (CPG/Charlie S. Dajao, DTI-Calabarzon/PIA4A)