• House committee approves bill easing red tape in business applications, permits


    A COMMITTEE at the House of Representatives has approved a substitute bill that would lessen the documentation and waiting days for applications of business permits

    The committee on trade and industry said the yet unnumbered bill provided maximum processing time of one working day for villages (barangay), three working days for simple applications, and 10 working days for “complex” applications from the time of their receipt.

    A maximum of 30 working days will be given to the special types of businesses where a technical evaluation or similar processes are needed for the issuance of licenses.

    According to the bill, the application will be automatically approved if the government unit or agency failes to process the application within the prescribed period.

    The bill also proposes computerized business permitting and licensing system (BPLS) to allow city and municipal governments to automate permits and licenses.

    The bill also proposes the establishment of “Business One Stop Shop” (BOSS) to enable city and municipal governments to receive and process manual or electronic submission of license, clearance or permit applications.

    Rep. Luis Raymond Villafuerte of Camarines Sur, one of the authors of the bill, said it was time that the country followed through with the simplified procedures and shortened processing period of its neighbors so that it may result in rapid growth of foreign investment.

    Local and foreign businessmen have complained about the lengthy process in securing business permits. The House bill is expected to address this concern. RALPH EDWIN U. VILLANUEVA



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