ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 9 Jan) – The processing time to renew business permits in this city has been lessened to 30 minutes as the local government has cut down the process to only three steps from the previous five.
Benjie Barredo, chief of the Business Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO), said the cutting down of the process is based on Executive Order 28 issued by Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, which mandates the streamlining of internal regulatory system on the business permit and licensing process.
Basically, the process involves the submission of renewal application form at the BPLO, followed by the assessment and payment of taxes at the City Treasurer’s Office, and consequently the issuance of a temporary permit to operate (TPO) or the so-called conditional permit by Barredo.
Barredo said the TPO specifies the requirements and clearances that the business operator needs to secure within 90 calendar days.
He said that non-compliance of the requirements within the specified period would cause the automatic revocation of the TPO and eventually the issuance of notice of closure and the actual closure of the establishment.
Barredo said that EO 28 also provides that the permit signed by the mayor will be released when all requirements and clearances are complied with and the TPO shall be surrendered to the BPLO.
Barredo said that with the cutting down of the processing time, he expects an increase in the number of business registration this year compared to the last year’s 8,300.
He said that more than 500 business permits have already been processed as of Monday since the permit renewal process went full blast January 2.
He said deadline for the renewal process is January 20 and late filers will be slapped with a 25-percent surcharge per quarter and two percent additional surcharge per month.
Meanwhile, since January 2, City Hall has extended the working hours of offices involved in the business permit processing from from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during Saturdays, Sundays and holidays to ensure business establishments can beat the deadline.