Registered businesses in Legazpi now up by 13%
By Cet Dematera
LEGAZPI CITY---The Business Permit Licensing Office (BPLO) in this city has recorded a total of 5,915 business establishments that registered to their office to either start or continue their operations, from the 5,200 businesses that registered during the same period in September last year, or an increase of 13.75 percent.
The increase despite the still prevailing Covid-19 pandemic is being attributed by the observers and business sector here to the gradually improving business operations in the city and the full operations of the city’s Electronic Business One Stop Shop or E-BOSS.
Asuncion Calleja, BPLO chief, in an interview on Tuesday said that out of the fully-registered businesses, 715 of them were the new registered establishments while the 5,200 have continued their operations from the previous year.
Calleja said that all the business owners and their representatives can easily get their permits through the implementation of E-BOSS, an electronic system wherein their office, BPLO, is already interconnected with all the regulatory offices that are involved in business licensing.
“Through E-BOSS program, the applicants for new businesses and for renewal of their permits should only submit their documents to the BPLO and then it will be passed to the regulatory offices involve in issung business permits, that included the offices of the Treasurer, Zoning, Engineering and the City Environment and Natural Resources,” Calleja said.
She said that applicants are not staying anymore in long queues to wait for the processing of their business permits, because it is now being processed by the regulatory offices using the Enhance Tax Revenue Assessment and Collection System (ETRACS).
“Through ETRACS, all the documents submitted by the applicants could now be scrutinized quickly to determine if the certifications have expired or have some violations. But once the documents do not carry any violation, these will be processed through the system then forwarded to me and to the Mayor for our electronic signature,” Calleja said.
She added that Legazpi is the only LGU in Albay that documents for business permits are no longer being brought personally to the BPLO chief and to the Mayor for approval, adding that these papers just be signed by the system digitally and electronically and after which, it these will be passed to the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) for tax assessment.
Calleja said that after the assessment from the CTO, the BPLO will give a tax order of payment to the applicants, that once complied with and after the tax payment has been made, a clearance to business establishments will be issued and the approved documents will be systematically and automatically transmitted to the City Mayor’s Office (CMO) for the release of the business permit.
She added that the city government was also compliant with Barangay Clearance Integration under the Ease of Doing Business Law wherein the business applicants will no longer go to the barangay hall to get their clearances as the CTO will already be the one to collect payment for the tax clearance in their behalf, while the concerned barangay will deliver personally their issued clearance to the business establishments.
“For those who are going to renew their business permits we do not require them to fill out another application form. They only need to select the lanes for pregnant women as well as person with disabilities (PWD’s) and senior ctizens, men and women, priority, bulk and express lanes inside the office of the BPLO,” Calleja said.
Ma. Theresa Nunez head of the city’s Economic and Investment Promotion on the other hand, said that she recently held a business forum participated by the different kinds of business establishments including transport sector in order to support and promote the city’s business strategy aimed at fostering collaborative partnerships in Legazpi.
She added that the forum seeks to strengthen public awareness and understanding regarding the city’s ordinances and policies related to business operations and also to encourage dialogue between the city government and its stakeholders about the various offices involved in business-related transactions.
Nunez said that she encouraged the owners of these businesses operating in Legazpi including transport group to create their own council that will represent them to the next business forum and to other business-related gatherings to be spearheaded by the city government.