Davao, CDO to wrap up USAID-funded project on easier business applications

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/13 May) –  Two of Mindanao’s major cities would wrap up soon a US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded pilot project that seeks to streamline the processing of business applications.

The project would apply new measures that will lower the cost and cut the waiting time for processing business applications, said Lou Pasawa, chief of the Davao City Field Office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Davao City and Cagayan de Oro City were chosen as pilot areas in Mindanao along with six local government units in other parts of the country.

This city has already adapted, for instance, a practice that would cut processing time of basic requirements to only one hour to allow a new business to operate. The owner is then given one month to comply with the rest of the requirements of mostly national government agencies.

“The city and the DTI would also put up the one-stop window for all agencies, this time hosted by the city,” Pasawa said.

The city would also try to work out a sharing system of the databases maintained by all of its regulating bodies.

“It’s like establishing a network of all the databases,” Pasawa explained.

In the case of this city, the summary of the project would be presented in a business conference spearheaded by the Davao City Small and Medium Enterprise Development (SMED) Council, which was recently adapted by the city government through an executive order issued by Mayor Sara Duterte.

The DTI formed the unit in the 1990s to gather all the SMEs together. Now covered by an EO, “it would have its budget.”

The DTI, Pasawa added, has revised its payment scheme for business name registrations. From collecting P300 for each new establishment and every branch, the DTI would only collect P200 for every barangay level business name registrations and P300 for the city level ones, inclusive of all branches to be established.

“That means that you only have to pay P300 for a business, with say, 10 branches, when before, you have to pay P3,000 for all these branches,” he said.

“It’s part of reducing the cost of business,” he said.

“There are still a lot more being applied for better, faster, cheaper and hassle-free application,” he said.

But the DTI would also install a new measure to trim down the piling up of business name registrations. “We would require all those given the certificate to show proof that they really used the business name. Otherwise, we would cancel them.”

The USAID project aims to refine the processing of business applications in the country “to remove the perception abroad that doing business in the Philippines was a long process and expensive”.

The USAID would consolidate the experiences of the eight LGUs applying and adopting effective measures to streamline the business application processes in their localities, Pasawa said. (MindaNews)