Gov’t agencies move to streamline LGUs’ BPLS
August 26, 2016

THREE line departments will issue a joint memorandum circular next week urging local government units (LGUs) to streamline their business permits & licensing system (BPLS) to three days in order to make the localities more attractive to commercial investments.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said yesterday that they would work with the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in issuing the circular on Aug. 30, with the eventual goal of automation.

“We are issuing and signing with the Department of Interior and Local Government and the DICT to have a circular that would encourage and urge local government units, all the mayors and cities, to streamline their respective business process and hopefully have a standardized business processes when it comes to applying for business permits and licenses,” he said in his speech during the joint luncheon meeting held at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati City.

He said that, as of today, 60% of LGUs have brought down their BPLS time period to an average of eight days from the previous practice of 30 days.

“Our objective now is to bring it down further to three days, and that will require a lot of streamlining in terms of forms and signatories. And let me tell you the streamline, our next move is to automate to allow us to bring down further from three days to one day,” he added.

In the sidelines of the event, Mr. Lopez told reporters that there will be a template, removing certain redundancies such as reducing the number of required signatories, that would be followed by LGUs.

When asked if there would be any penalties for LGUs that fall behind the expected time period, he said: “no penalty,” adding that being more business-friendly is in itself an incentive.

“Basically, that’s the incentive to be, to have a good ranking when it comes to competitiveness. I don’t think it would be difficult. Each one would want to show they are business friendly, they have a conducive investment climate, and really attract investment in their respective localities,” he said, referring to National Competitiveness Council’s Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index which ranks localities based on three standards, namely: economic dynamism, government efficiency, and infrastructure.□

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