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Official: Connectivity a challenge in biz permit processing

Local government units(LGUs) in the Davao Region that want to streamline their business permit application processes face the challenge of either poor or no connectivity, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Regional Director Maria Belenda Q. Ambi said yesterday.

At the press conference yesterday at Pinnacle Hotel, Ambi said that connectivity has become a huge challenge for LGUs that want to tap automation in improving their processes.

“The intention is that everything should be computerized,” she said, pointing out that infrastructure development, including connectivity, is among the “pillars” that would make an LGU competitive particularly in processing business permit applications.

Also, she added, although there are those that have tapped the use of technology, particularly the Internet, in making their processes easier, there are those applicants who still prefer to go to the offices to submit their applications.

Other pillars, she said, include dynamism, resiliency and governance, which means that LGUs need to “manage your respective areas (better.”

Some LGUs, particularly the highly-urbanized centers, face the daunting task of registering a huge number of applications that just by going through the documents would always take time.

Ambi said these LGUs have not gotten away “some requirements (that other LGUs have set aside) that (it) would take (them) longer in registering businesses.”

In the case of the city, she said, the target is to reduce the processes to just about an hour, although sometimes it will still take some requirements to comply longer.

Other LGUs, she added, announced they excelled in streamlining their business processes because the time of reckoning is usually when the applicants have complied with all the requirements.

In the case of Davao del Norte, some local officials decided to visit other LGUs to learn from their best practices, said Romeo L. Castanaga, DTI-Davao del Norte provincial director, said.

Castanaga added that what they found out was that some LGUs usually start the application and renewal of business permits in November for the following year. “They have already been distributing forms (for renewal and new applications),” he said, pointing out that by January the LGUs start accepting payments and releasing the approved applications.

He added that for LGUs to be able to fast-track their processes, they “ need to invest in automation.”
The national government has intensified the streamlining of business permit applications by passing Republic Act 11032, the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.

This is an amendment to the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007.

Under the law, LGUs are ordered to process the business permit applications within three days.

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