Consisting of 15 members from different departments (i.e. Business Permits and Licensing Office, City Planning and Development, City Engineering Office, City Environment Office, City Office, Bureau of Fire, Police Department, City Legal Office, City Treasurer Office, and the City Assessor), a composite team which implements business-related regulations was created and authorized by the City Government of Victorias which aims to have an effective and working mechanism in monitoring business operations within the city.
Background and Problem
The City Government of Victorias recognizes the importance of improving the processes in applying and renewing business permits to enhance competitiveness within the local and national levels through reforms and reducing unnecessary steps in acquiring regulatory clearances. Republic Act No. 9485, otherwise known as the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007, also clearly states the guidelines in streamlining business permits and licensing systems in accordance with the service standards which the national government had set. In the case of Victorias City, the old practice on business permits and licensing gave the City a minimal number of business operators that secure business permits.
Solution and Impact
To address the said issue, Victorias City started to equip its workforce with all the necessary knowledge and skills regarding business permits and licensing system (BPLS) by coordinating with the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Department of Trade and Industry for all the guidelines and requirements. The City eventually created a Technical Working Group (TWG) composed of department heads that initiated the framework for a Joint Inspection Team (JIT). The TWG oversees the implementation of the streamlined BPLS standard and the conduct of the joint inspection activity.
With the constant meeting, brainstorming, feedbacking, and dialogue with the TWG, concerns and issues were readily addressed. Customers also have lesser complaints because they can easily avail of the needed clearances, backed-up by the number of business operator turnout that applied for the permit, with a short number of days needed before they have their clearances (one day for permit renewal and less than five days for new applicants). The output of the JIT enabled the City to have an easy processing of business permits. The 2011, 2012, and 2013 revenue collection was only PhP19 million. Upon conducting the joint inspection activities, 2014 and 2015 revenue became PhP24 million and PhP27 million, respectively, which is a big leap in the city’s revenue generation (26% and 13% growth in 2014 and 2015, respectively). The number of operators that applied and secured business permits also doubled.
Logistical, legal, and budgetary support was prepared a year ahead. The team was then given the opportunity to attend various seminars and conferences organized by the National Competitiveness Council, the Bureau of Local Government Finance, and the Development Academy of the Philippines. Joint inspection activities were done on a yearly basis in preparation for the renewal of permits in the City for the next calendar year. Members of the JIT prepare and secure the needed forms, logistics, personnel, and schedule. Its main goal is to cut short the processes in securing business permits. Wearing their respective uniform, the JIT also brings their mission order (i.e. City Ordinance 17, Series of 2013), individual identification card, digital cameras, a gadget to measure a particular place, a joint inspection form, a sticker for non-compliant and compliant business operators, and a service vehicle. Victorias City LGU has also engaged the services of Systems and Plan Integrator and Development Corporation to develop and design its online application for business permits and administration system. To ensure that the provisions of the Republic Act No. 9485 are implemented in all transactions, the system was integrated to the process application, which includes the documentation and receiving of payment. The City recognizes the importance of the inspection team thus, the TWG always listens to its needs and addresses it promptly. A weekly meeting is also held to further enhance the process and practice in the conduct of the inspection team. The JIT are given all necessary needs to do their task on a maximum level.