Ladies and gentlemen, magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat.

Today’s virtual signing of the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) reaffirms our commitment to innovate the country’s business permitting process, as well as support the growth of local businesses.

Before anything else, we would like to thank DG Jeremiah Belgica and the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA); Sec. Gringo Honasan and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT); and Sec. Eduardo Año and OIC-USec. Bernardo Florece of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). Despite the difficulties brought about by the pandemic, they all worked on this game-changing document.

We would also like to thank the private sector, led by the National Association of Business Permits and Licensing Officers (or NABLO), the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (or PCCI), and other business sector groups that helped us in crafting the JMC. Development partners like the World Bank Group and the USAID’s RESPOND Project—managed by the UP Public Administration Foundation—also contributed to putting together the JMC. 

The present COVID-19 pandemic has shown us an opportunity to hasten the automation of service delivery to the people. We’ve also seen the need for the government and the business sector to work together in reducing the adverse economic consequences of the community quarantine lockdown.

Ang JMC po na ito ay nagbibigay daan sa cities at municipalities na mas mapabuti ang business permitting para sa mas mabilis na proseso na may mas mababang processing time na pasado sa world-class standards. Ang standards na ito sa business registration ay babawas ng unnecessary, duplicative processes at documentary requirements, at tutulong na mapababa ang cost of doing business—habang sumusuporta sa muling pagbangon ng ating ekonomiya.

More importantly, the JMC provides concrete measures that facilitate compliance with Republic Act (RA) 11032, the “Ease of Doing Business and Government Efficiency Act of 2018,” also known as the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Act. This law highlights how GovTech or government technology can fast-track the elimination of red tape in the bureaucracy, even as it makes government services more customer-centric for our people. Streamlining and automation is the only way to move forward. By making government service accessible via smartphone or computer, GovTech is the ultimate form of ease of doing business.

Thus, this JMC will guide local government units (LGUs) on implementing a zero-contact policy envisioned to reduce corruption through the use of online portals. As ordered by our President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, we can now lay down end-to-end business permitting processes—from submission and payment to the printing of permits—without making it difficult for our people. Of course, very critical here is the issuance of the manual para po mas mapadali ang pag-download ng ating LGUs.

Moreover, the JMC’s reduced and re-engineered steps are consistent with health protocols and are the government’s way of reducing the spread of COVID-19 at the local level.  With this in mind, we hope that our LGUs will follow the standards set by the JMC. Our cities and municipalities play a key role in protecting the welfare of the community and this important function is acknowledged in the JMC.

The standards also encourage LGUs to be more customer-friendly in dispensing their regulatory obligations. After all, satisfied customers will contribute more to the local economy thru more investments and higher employment, which are most needed at this time. To this end, the establishment of the re-engineered business permitting processes through the electronic Business One-Stop Shop (or eBOSS) will potentially lead to more business registrations and higher revenues from business tax and fees for LGUs, and more importantly, magdadala ito ng mas masaganang kabuhayan sa ating mga kababayan. Lalong ma-ma-maximize itong eBOSS kapag na-i-connect sa overall Central Business Portal (CBP) na pinagtulungan din po natin dito kasama ang DTI, DICT, DILG, at ARTA. Kapag na-i-connect na po sa CBP, magiging end-to-end na po ang ating business permitting at pagsisimula ng business. When I say end-to-end, mula po sa DTI o SEC, papunta na rin po sa Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Pag-IBIG Fund, at Social Security System (SSS), tapos naka-connect na rin po sa eBOSS para sa LGUs hanggang sa Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). Hindi niyo na po kailangan umalis ng bahay dahil magagawa niya na po lahat ng ito online kasama ang e-payment.

In closing, even the government needs to adapt and innovate to be responsive to challenges under the “New Normal.” As we build back better through GovTech, the JMC will give us the boost to streamline and automate the business permitting processes in the country to enable entrepreneurs to start and operate their businesses. This, in turn, will empower our people through more jobs and employment, which would get us back on the road to post-pandemic recovery.

For our cities and municipalities, let’s now start rolling up our sleeves and fast-track the establishment of the eBOSS!

Maraming salamat po at mabuhay tayong lahat.

Date of Release: 14 April 2021