Micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) can expect faster Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) renewals of business permits this year, the Finance department said.
The department, in a statement, said BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay mentioned the need to continue working on reducing red tape following the approval of the Tax Reform of Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) law.
“After the (approval of the tax reform) package, we’ll go into that streamlining process, although it’s an ongoing work … even the procedures; we will cut down on the documentary requirements,” Dulay was quoted as telling Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd during a recent executive committee meeting.
The Finance chief told BIR officials at the meeting that he had received complaints from MSMEs about the process for renewing their BIR Certificates of Registration (CoRs) in regional offices.
To renew a business permit, the applicant must first secure a barangay clearance and an updated mayor’s business permit. The latter, in particular, that requires documents such as the original copy of the mayor’s permit for the previous year, proof of payment, income statements and contracts of lease, among others.
It is only after these permits are obtained that the applicant can proceed to the BIR to have the CoR renewed, paying an annual registration fee for every separate or distinct establishment or place of business.
Dominguez has said that the government wanted to institute reforms that would improve the ease of doing business in the country. These include the online TradeNet platform, which aims to fully automate the government’s licensing, permit-issuing, clearance and certification systems, and the Inter-Agency Business Process Interoperability program is expected to simplify and harmonize import and export documentation.
The growth of the MSME sector, which employs nine out of 10 Filipinos, has been described as crucial for achieving inclusive growth, not only in the Philippines but also in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Dominguez also said the government was ready to provide MSMEs with funding support that will allow them to compete in the Asean common market.
State-owned Land Bank of the Philippines was said to have provided P71 billion in loans to MSMEs from January to September this year.
Another government-run financial institution, the Development Bank of the Philippines, also extended a total of P11.6 billion to MSMEs in the first 10 months of 2017.