In compliance with the directive of the President to reduce red tape and expedite the processing of permits and licenses in Local Government Units, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Paranaque City Government jointly launched yesterday Project: Express Lane Operation (ELO) 2.0 to serve as the benchmark in business regulatory simplification across the country.
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said that implementing the Business Permits and Licensing System (BPLS) of Parañaque will ensure that new and renewal of business application process will only take 1-3 days and there are, at most, only three steps for both new and renewal of business registration. The process also uses a unified form for application and has at most two signatories required for the whole process.
In his 4th SONA last July 22, the President tasked the Secretary Año and all LGUs to ensure that all business clearances and permits issued by Local Government Units will be out in 3 days.
“We are pleased to partner with the City Government of Parañaque led by Mayor Edwin L. Olivarez on this project and we hope that other LGUs will follow and replicate this system. It brings together several innovative IT solutions into their pioneering Concierge system, effectively redefining what it means to be business-friendly,” said Año.
“Mas mabilis na proseso, mas maraming investments sa LGUs. At mas maraming investments, mas maraming government services para sa mga tao at mas uunlad rin ang ating mga lokalidad,” he added.
The DILG Secretary said that Parañaque has leveled up its Business One-Stop Shop (BOSS) by being the first LGU in the country to integrate the barangay business clearance in their BOSS operations in City Hall making the city the first to fully comply with RA 11032 also known as the Ease of Doing Business Act.
“In Parañaque, business owners don’t need to go to the Barangay Hall because the barangay clearance can be applied, paid, and released in their BOSS in the City Hall,” he said.
Project ELO 2.0 also features the country’s first-ever computerized Occupational Permit system which is part of its ongoing automation program. It shortens the process of securing occupational or work permits to just four easy steps from the previous ten to save applicants significant time off from work and thus boost productivity.
Furthermore, Parañaque also has a Zero Contact Policy, where application, payment, and issuance of permits are made available at the Project ELO Concierge using Smart Kiosks located at the newly renovated Taxpayers Lounge of the BPLO of city hall. Clients can also easily see the progress of their application on the queuing monitors as this feature will display the current milestone of their permit application.
Paranaque has installed Smart Kiosks which are self-service facilities which allow a client to print an application form for renewal of business permit and also the statement of account for the quarterly payments of business taxes and fees. Printing can be done either by using a QR Code or the use of the client’s Business Identification Number.
Año said that while many LGUs already have their own BOSS, they are not fully compliant with the provisions of the Ease of Doing Business Act and therefore they should step up their game just like what Parañaque did.
A total of 1,218 or 80.34% of cities and municipalities have already established their BOSS and streamlined their business registration and business renewal application process but most have yet to integrate the barangay clearance in their process.
''The DILG will continuously capacitate our LGUs to be partners in national development by helping them become more business-friendly and competitive. The remaining 20 percent of LGUs who have yet to establish their BOSS and streamline their process should, therefore, be up to the task of simplifying their business permit application process in order to encourage more investments in their areas,” said Año.
As a result of such reforms, he said 1,460,005 business establishments have registered and a total of P52.09-billion was collected from business taxes, fees, and charges since the reforms took place.
He said that with all the initiatives of the government in working closely with the LGUs in monitoring their compliance with the ease of doing business, the local business environment can be enhanced and investors and entrepreneurs will be encouraged to invest in the country.
''The DILG is pursuing a whole-of-government approach that promotes simplification of government transactions, interoperability of government processes and strengthened linkages and coordination especially among local governments,'' he added.
On the other hand, Mayor Olivarez said that with the launching of Project ELO 2.0, they are hoping to encourage more businesses to register and set up shops in the city with their simplified and integrated steps in securing business and other permits.
The event also paved the way for the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the city government and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) for interconnectivity for faster and more efficient government transactions in the city.