DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/06 September) — A funding worth at least P10 million is needed to have a full blast streamlined business permit and licensing system (BPLS) in the city early next year, Business Bureau chief Tristan Dwight Domingo said Thursday.
Guesting at the regular I-speak session, Domingo said the fund will be utilized for the training of personnel and procurement of electronic equipment for faster online business processing or e-BPLS.
Included in the budget are the needs of other offices involved in the entire process such as the City Environment and Natural Resources Office, Bureau of Fire Protection, Bureau of Internal Revenue, and Department of Trade and Industry, among others, he said.
Domingo said the goal is to minimize the process by a maximum of five steps for new business permits and four steps for renewal of permits.
Currently, business processing takes a whole day or at least an hour as long as requirements are complete and queues are short, he added.
Domingo said that a permit applicant may also be given a temporary authority to operate while complying with the requirements within 30 days.
The city government is hoping to improve its BPLS as it always look for ways to streamline the process, but we are still waiting for the fund, Domingo told MindaNews earlier.
Mayor Sara Duterte said earlier that one of the things that investors consider in locating their business here is how fast they can complete the process.
Jason Magnaye, city investment and promotion center chief, also agreed that one of the major considerations of investors when locating in an area is the ease of setting up their businesses.
“Streamlining business permits and licensing system will certainly be an added come-on for businesses to continue locating in Davao City,” he added.
Magnaye said that the city government and national agencies will enter into a memorandum of agreement to establish a one-stop shop for business permits, which is still awaiting the approval of the city council.
Teolulo Pasawa, Department of Trade and Industry city director, said that streamlining BPLS lessens the cost of doing business and fosters investors’ confidence.
“It minimizes business uncertainties and brings an environment that is conducive to doing business,” he added.
Domingo said there are 4,304 new business permits issued out of 4,918 applications this year.
Last year, 6,277 business permits were issued.
He said that as to the target number of new permits to be issued this year, it depends on the number of businesses opening in the city and not on the efficiency of BPLS.
More local government units (LGUs) in the region have undergone training with the DTI to adopt a streamlined BPLS, Sarry L. Kinoc, Jr., DTI trade and industry development specialist and BPLS point person, said earlier.
Based on the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007, he said the new processing system involves three standards steps involving “actual interaction with institutions; processing time, including travel time from one office to another; and, unified forms, which will be used by all LGUs that adopt BPLS.”
This year, the LGUs of Sta. Cruz, Hagonoy, Malita, and Bansalan in Davao del Sur and Monkayo, Pantukan, and Maco in Compostela Valley are set to undergo a BPLS training with DTI.
Lawyer Miguel B. Varela, president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), said at the 21st Mindanao Business Conference (MinBizCon) in Butuan City last month that streamlining business permits and licenses has been an oft-repeated issue raised by a number of investors.
He said the PCCI has taken the lead for the private sector in terms of streamlining business permits and licenses, citing that chambers in Central Luzon have achieved the 100 percent BPLS target.
They streamlined procedures to a maximum of five steps and two signatories and a maximum processing time of five days for new applications and one day for renewals, he added.
President Benigno Aquino III noted in his speech read at the MinBizCon that streamlining of business processes is being done both at the local and national levels.
“Our goal [is] to ensure that social justice, security, and market stability become the business of the day. Your efforts to create an environment where trade, commerce, and learning will thrive is indicative of your vision for real economic growth and development, not only for the business players and enterprises, but equally for all the people of Mindanao,” Aquino said. (Lorie Ann A. Cascaro/MindaNews)