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DTI joins nationwide plan to advance from streamlining to automating business permits and licensing systems
Friday, August 17, 2012
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) collaborates with other government agencies and stakeholders to move from Business Permits and Licensing Systems (BPLS) streamlining to automation, and sustaining partnerships for BPLS reforms to cut the cost of doing business in the Philippines to advance the competitiveness of the country and develop local economies.
“We are confident to say that we have made considerable headway in BPLS implementation. But we are not stopping there. We want to see this local government units (LGUs) move up to the next level from BPLS to e-BPLS,” DTI Secretary Gregory L. Domingo said in a support message read by DTI Undersecretary for Consumer Welfare and Business Regulation Group (CWBRG) Zenaida Cuison-Maglaya during the recent forum on BPLS Automation.
This forum is a joint activity of the Investment Enabling Environment (INVEST) Project of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Local Government Support Program for Local Economic Development (LGSP-LED) of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the DTI, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
“This gathering is a manifestation that the joint undertaking among committed entities and organizations is an effective strategy to achieve target results for the benefit of many,” Domingo said.
The BPLS nationwide streamlining program is a simplified business registration process which aims to reduce the number of steps, application form and the number of signatories in business permit applications. This program is a priority of President Benigno S. Aquino III as mentioned in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in 2010.
In response, to the President’s directive, the DTI and DILG launched the nationwide streamlining of BPLS in the country on August 2010 and issued a Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) on the guidelines in implementing the standards in processing business permits and licenses in cities and municipalities.
As of 30 June 2012, a total of 748 local government units (LGUs) have already have streamlined their BPLS. Out of these LGUs, 421 of the 480 target LGUs are included. The remaining LGUs or 327 of the 748 are not part of the set target.
“This is part of the continuing process to improve the business environment and make it easier for our constituents and citizens to transact with government,” Domingo said.
Early this year, the DTI together with the DILG submitted a joint BPLS Work Plan for 2012-2016 which contains the revised number of target local government units (LGUs). By 2016, the target LGUs to comply with BPLS standards is pegged at 1,634 cities and municipalities. This increase in target is in compliance with President Aquino’s instruction to expand the coverage of the BPLS program.
“We, at the DTI, express our full support to the successful implementation of BPLS automation in collaboration with other stakeholders in this initiative,” Domingo said
The BPLS automation is the second component of the nationwide streamlining of the BPLS program. It involves the development and implementation of a framework that will define the activities to be undertaken to promote the use of information and communication technology in ensuring efficient and effective dispensation of LGUs business permitting processes.
This framework includes social marketing, conduct of an e-Readiness survey, capacity building, systems development and deployment and private sector participation in automation BPLS.
To do this the DTI, together with DILG and DOST forged an agreement through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) among on BPLS automation during the forum.
For its part, the DTI will harness and mobilize the support of the private sector and other stakeholder groups in the activities of the project following the principles of private-public partnership (PPP), and coordinate with the various regional offices and attached agencies of the DTI that will contribute to the implementation of the project. It will also take charge of investment promotion, marketing and consumer-related issues in the project.
The nationwide streamlining of systems program in the Philippines is one of the Good Governance and Anti-Corruption (GGAC) initiatives approved by the President. The GGAC plan for 2012-2016 is aimed at simplifying and integrating various government databases and systems, and to make them more accessible to the public. In this plan, the government pursues initiatives on transparency, accountability and citizen engagement.