With the signing of the Ease of Doing Business law, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is expecting 100 percent compliance among local government units (LGUs) in streamlining their processes in the issuance of business licenses, clearances and other permits.
"Now that we have a law, local governments should fast track efforts to make their localities business-friendly by simplifying their business procedures. In the long run, they themselves will reap the economic benefits and rewards of a conducive business environment,” says DILG OIC-Secretary Eduardo M. Ano.
Ano urges LGUs to be more proactive in adhering to the provisions of the law since LGUs' compliance rate from previous DILG initiatives on streamlining business processes can still be improved.
He also said that the DILG, together with the Department of Trade and Industry and Department of Information and Communication Technology, has issued Joint Memorandum Circular 2016-01 or the 'Revised Standards in Processing Business Permits and Licenses in All Cities and Municipalities' containing guidelines in streamlining business permits and licensing system.
"The DILG has been working on streamlining business processes for quite some time and it is noteworthy that the percentage of compliance can still be improved. Hopefully, with the passage of the new law, we can really push for 100% adherence from the LGUs," he says.
Based on records provided by the DILG’s Bureau of Local Government Development, only 59.37% or 900 LGUs are compliant to the revised standards in processing business permits and licenses, one of the salient parts of RA 11032.
Republic Act 11032 or Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Delivery of Government Services Act of 2018 seeks to make the process of establishing and running a business in the country more efficient and easier. The law, which was signed by President Duterte last May 28, 2018, amends the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007.
The law mandates the adoption of 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.
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.
Streamlined fire clearances
According to DILG Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya, 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 says 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,” he says.