GenSan simplifies business renewal process due to COVID-19 pandemic

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 04 January) – The city government has further streamlined the processes for the renewal and application of business permits to cope with the continuing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Geraldine Zamora, head of the business permits and licensing division (BPLD), said Monday they adopted a more unified system to prevent long queues and ensure proper compliance by their clients to the health protocols.

This city is known for its tuna industry, earning it the distinction as the “Tuna Capital of the Philippines.”

She said the three-step process remains in effect for every transaction, but the payment and issuance of clearances are now handled by the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO).

These include the processing of barangay clearance, community tax certificate, fire inspection certificate, building permit and occupancy certificate.

The local government formally opened Monday morning its one-stop-shop for the annual renewal and application of business permits, which will run until January 20.

It targets anew to accommodate around 9,000 businesses through its “Friendly, Accessible, Simple and Timely” or FAST processing system, which has been reduced to just three steps starting with the application filing and assessment, payment of fees and claiming of the permit.

Zamora said they will issue priority numbers for the scheduled release of the completed business permits.

“We are initially on trial period but will proceed to full operations once we smoothen the processes,” she said in a radio interview.

The one-stop-shop, which is situated at the city’s business center building, is run by the BPLD and CTO, in coordination with the City Health Office, Office of the Building Official, City Assessor’s Office, Waste Management Office, City Planning and Development Office, Bureau of Fire Protection and the barangay councils.

Zamora said they opened as early as November the issuance of the unified application forms to facilitate faster processing.

But she said many of their existing and new clients still opted to only secure the forms on Monday, causing a long queue outside the business center building.

She said the city’s information technology unit remedied the situation by making the unified form downloadable online.

The official said they will strictly observe the necessary health protocols to ensure that their clients and involved personnel would be protected from the spread of COVID-19.

She said these include the mandatory wearing of face mask and face shield as well as the observance of safe physical distancing, hand hygiene and sanitation for everyone while inside the business center building.

Clients from the city are required to present their quick response-coded enhanced quarantine passes while those from other localities should have the “Trace and Protect Action Team” or Tapat cards, she said. (MindaNews)