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ARTA finds Metro cities’ business permit systems non-compliant

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By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT

Most Metro Manila cities are still not fully compliant with the provisions stated under RA 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Delivery Service Act of 2018, according to Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) Director General Jeremiah B. Belgica and his team.

Last week, the ARTA chief conducted on-the-spot checks on several Metro Manila cities, including Taguig City and Pasig City, particularly checking the system of their Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO).

DG Belgica inspected the step-by-step process of applying and renewing business permits in the city where he found points for improvement.

“These cities are yet to establish a Business One Stop Shop as envisioned by the law and the guidelines. That’s why, we vow to fully assist and guide our millennial mayors to ensure their goal of a world class Business One Stop Shops across the Metro,” Belgica remarked.

The month of January is the busiest time for the BPLOs as it is the business application and renewal season for all Philippine businesses.

Belgica reminded the cities to improve their permitting systems by implementing various initiatives such as occupying more client-friendly venues malls, setting up systems that are physically easier to navigate, co-locating other local government offices related in permitting, automating select steps of the permitting process, employing extra personnel to assist the applicants, and providing incentives such as free printing and photocopying, massages, and snacks.

“We applaud the existing efforts of these LGUs which tell us a lot about their commitment to improve government services for the people by starting within their own localities, which is very crucial,” he said.

Under Section 11 of RA 11032, local government units are mandated to implement the following: Use of a single or unified business application form for new applications; establishment of a business one-stop shop (BOSS); automation of their business permit and licensing system or the implementation of an electronic BOSS; consolidation of local clearances with the issuance of business permits; renewal of permits during the anniversary of the issuance instead of during the first month of the year only; application, issuance, and collection of barangay clearances and doing business permits at the city or municipality.

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