SoutCot setting up one-stop shop for business licenses

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/1 Oct) – The provincial government of South Cotabato is pushing for the opening of a one-stop shop for various business licensing agencies in a bid to hasten the registration and licensing of existing and new businesses in the province.

Emmanuel Jumilla, South Cotabato Productivity and Technology Center (Protech) manager, said Friday they have tied up with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for the establishment of a one-stop action center for business registration and licensing, or what is referred to as National Economic Research and Business Assistance Center (Nerbac), in Koronadal City.

“This is part of the reforms that we’ve adopted to make the process of doing business in the province fast and efficient and eventually help usher in more business and investments,” he said.

Jumilla said the Nerbac Center, which will be established at the Protech Center in Koronadal City, will gather business licensing agencies such as the DTI, Social Security System, Pag-ibig Fund and the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

He said the gathering of the business licensing agencies “in one roof” will mainly expedite the processing of business registrations and licenses.

Aside from the opening of the Nerbac Center, Jumilla said they will introduce the Unified Yellow Card form starting next year as part of the 4-pronged approach in doing business that they have adopted.

He said the Unified Yellow Card form is used by local government units in gathering exact information from their clients.

Jumilla said they will set aside the current manual system in business licensing and registration and work for their full computerization by next year.

He said they are specifically looking at putting up an online registration system so prospective clients will no longer spend much time in processing the required documentations and only appear at Nerbac Center for the payment of business fees.

To complete their adopted reforms, he said they will come up with updated economic, trade and industry information database for the area.

The database will mainly focus on the province’s available resources and existing industries, which are mainly engaged in agriculture-related ventures.

“Being an agriculture province, we’re still focusing on the production of high-value commercial crops and other processed food products as sources for potential business opportunities,” Jumilla said.

But he said industry and local government planners are currently studying the potentials of various resources, among them the utilization of cassava as a source of starch, oil and biofuel.

Jumilla said studies are also underway for the possibility of putting up a coal power plant in Barangay Ned in Lake Sebu town as a source of energy.

He said various trainings for small and medium entrepreneurs are also being conducted in partnership with other government line agencies to improve other potential products such as furniture and handicrafts.

Jumilla added that the province is still banking on the potentials of the T’nalak cloth, brass wares and other T’boli arts and crafts in creating a niche for the area and eventually establish its identity in the global market. ( Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)