DTI, other government agencies sign agreement to improve ease of doing business in Philippines
Business Mirror
September 7, 2016

RAMON M. LOPEZ, trade secretary and National Competitiveness Council (NCC) cochairman, led the signing of a joint memorandum circular (JMC) to streamline the country’s business permits and licensing systems (BPLS).

Other cosigners were Interior Secretary Ismael D. Sueño and Information Secretary Rodolfo A. Salalima.

“The DTI’s [Department of Trade and Industry] work is geared toward establishing efficient regulatory procedures by cutting red tape and addressing bottlenecks in government frontline services. This is an effective strategy that allows our local enterprises to easily comply with requirements in starting a business,” Lopez said.

In the new JMC, local government units (LGUs) are enjoined to align their BPLS with the Revised Standards on Processing Business Permits and Licenses in All Cities and Municipalities, in which (1) a unified form should be used, both in print and electronic format; (2) the processing time should only take two days for new registrations and one day for renewal; (3) registration procedures should only involve three steps;  and (4) should only require two signatories, which is the mayor and the treasurer or business permits and licensing office head with alternate approving signatures.

Other streamlining measures outlined in the circular are setting up of Business One-Stop Shop (BOSS) facility for business registration, conduct of joint inspection teams, computerization and automation of business permit process, and use of online and electronic method for more efficient business processing.

Lopez said the target is to have all 1,516 cities and municipalities in the Philippines adopt the memorandum circular within 30 days and implement an online processing system within the year.

At present, 93 percent, or 1,419 of 1,516 LGUs (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao LGUs excluded) have already streamlined their business permits and licensing systems into five days and five steps. This is in compliance with a memorandum circular issued by the DTI and the Department of the Interior and Local Government to streamline business process in 2010.

Lopez said cutting the time and costs involved in starting a business will significantly improve the services provided by the DTI’s Go Negosyo Centers, which bring government programs and initiatives closer to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Go Negosyo Centers are one-stop shops that facilitate MSMEs’ access to services such as business advisory, business information and advocacy, business registration assistance through the Philippine Business Registry (PBR) System which integrates all agencies involved in business registration. To date, 296 Go Negosyo Centers has been established nationwide.□