By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Shorter days for business establishments to get business permits will be the mantra once the House panel’s substitute bill seeking to establish a national policy on ease of doing business in the country is approved.
The House Committee on Trade and Industry, chaired by Iloilo Rep. Ferjenel Biro, passed the substitute bill, a consolidation of seven measures, which shortens the documentation procedure and waiting time for business permit application.
Biron, one of the principal authors of the measure, said the bill , still unnumbered,prescribes a maximum processing time of one working day for barangay governments, three working days for simple applications, and 10 working days for complex applications from the time of their receipt. It prescribes processing time to be a maximum of 30 working days for special types of businesses where issuance of licenses first requires technical evaluation or similar processes, he said.
In the event that the government unit or agency fails to process the application within the prescribed period, the application is deemed approved.
Negros Oriental. Rep. Jocelyn Sy Limkaichong proposed that the bill should also consider certain requirements, such as those for restaurants and other businesses that sell food products. She noted it takes two years for the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue approval of certain products.
Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymond Villafuerte, one of the principal authors of the bill, said the Philippines is ranked 171st out of 185 economies in terms of ease of doing business.
“There are currently now 16 procedures and 28 days to start a business, compared to the region’s average of 7 procedures and 23 days. Basically we want to be at par or be better than our regional neighbors,” he said.
The bill calls for a computerized or software-enabled business permitting and licensing system (BPLS), allowing city and municipal governments to automate their BPLS.
It also proposes the establishment of a one-stop business facilitation service, or a Business One Stop Shop (BOSS). BOSS enables city and municipal governments to receive and process manual or electronic submission of license, clearance, or permit applications.
The measure also calls for the creation of an “Ease of Doing Business Commission” to keep an eye on the full implementation of the proposed Act.
Other proponents of the bill are Reps. Vilma Santos-Recto (6th District, Batangas), Rep. Arthur Yap (3rd District, Bohol), Winston Castelo (2nd District, Quezon City), Gus Tambunting (2nd District, Parañaque City), and Manuel Zubiri (3rd District, Bukidnon).
Tags: bill, Bill seeks to establish policy on ease of doing business, business, business permit, business permitting and licensing system, Congress, DTI, House Committee on Trade and Industry, Manila Bulletin, policy