EFFICIENCY must now be the norm in transacting business with all local government units (LGUs) across the country.
Thus, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday expressed optimism that, by this time, it will be easy for investors and businessmen, regardless of size or capitalization, to process the release of business licenses, clearances and other related permits and documents with President Duterte’s signing on the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) law.
On May 28 Duterte has signed into law Republic Act (RA) 11032 or Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Delivery of Government Services Act of 2018.
RA 11032 aims to make the process of establishing and running a business in the country be more efficient and easier compared to past decades.
It likewise amended the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007.
The new law instructs LGUs to adopt a unified form in processing applications for business permits and renewals, the establishment of business one-stop shops, and the automation of business permits and licensing system within three years.
In a news statement, the DILG pointed out that it expects a “100-percent compliance among LGUs in streamlining their processes in the issuance of business licenses, clearances and other permits” following the signing of the EOBD law.
DILG Officer in Charge Eduardo M. Año said, “[N]ow that we have a law, local governments should fast-track efforts to make their localities business-friendly by simplifying their business procedures.”
Año added that LGUs’ compliance on the efficient way of releasing business permits and other documents will actually benefit the LGUs stating that “[i]n the long run, they themselves will reap the economic benefits and rewards of a conducive business environment.”
Año urged all LGUs to be more proactive in adhering to the provisions of the new law, since LGUs’ compliance rate from previous DILG initiatives on streamlining business processes can still be improved.
He also revealed that the DILG, together with the Departments of Trade and Information and Communication Technology, have issued Joint Memorandum Circular 2016-01, or the Revised Standards in Processing Business Permits and Licenses in All Cities and Municipalities, stipulating the guidelines in streamlining business permits and
He pointed out that “[t]he DILG has been working on streamlining business processes for quite some time [where we found out] that the percentage of compliance can still be improved.
Hopefully, with the passage of the new law, we can really push for 100-percent adherence from the LGUs.”
Records provided by the DILG’s Bureau of Local Government Development, showed that only 59.37 percent or 900 LGUs are compliant with the revised standards in processing business permits and licenses.
But the DILG believed that this will change for the better in the next few months.
To eliminate corruption in the processing of business applications, government agencies, including LGUs, are also required by the law to adopt a “zero contact policy,” except during the preliminary assessment of the business application and submission of requirements as stipulated in the RA 11032.
DILG Spokesman Assistant Secretary Jonathan E. Malaya further explained that “the new law also provides that the issuance of the fire safety evaluation clearance and the fire safety inspection certificate shall, in no case, be longer that seven working days.”
Malaya, however, clarified that the Bureau of Fire Protection should also collocate with the LGU’s one-stop shop to assess and collect the fire safety inspection fees, as well as develop an online/electronic mechanism for assessing and collecting payments and sharing data.
“Long queue time and processes drive investors away from our localities. With streamlined processes in business applications and renewals, we are laying a welcome mat for them to set up business in our LGUs,” Malaya said.