LGUs urged to cut red tape, be more transparent

August 1, 2011 at 09:41

This is an article repost.

MANILA, Philippines—As part of the country’s efforts to move up the global competitiveness ladder, the Department of Interior and Local Government is urging more local government units to streamline their business processes and impose stricter rules on transparency.

According to Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, more than 400 local government units (LGUs) are expected to complete the streamlining of their business permits and licensing system (BPLS) in two years.

Those that have completed the streamlining process now use a single or unified form for every transaction, composed of a maximum of five steps and five signatories.

Processing time has been reduced to as short as an hour and even 30 minutes for applicants who have all the necessary requirements.

Under a memorandum circular that the DILG signed with the Department of Trade and Industry last year, 480 towns and municipalities are scheduled to complete their streamlining, which includes simplified registration and renewal processes, computerization, improved customer relations and institutionalized reforms.

The Nationwide BPLS Streamlining project aims to make doing business in the Philippines easier and stress-free.

According to the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2011, the Philippines ranked a dismal 148th out of 183 economies surveyed in terms of ease of doing business.

Apart from making opening a business easier, the DILG had also started strictly enforcing the Full Disclosure Policy in LGUs, to increase transparency in government.

Compliance meant making public the LGUs’ annual budgets; quarterly cash flow statements; statements of receipts and expenditures; utilization of trust, special education, and gender development funds; 20 percent of the internal revenue allotment allocation; debt service statements; procurement lists; bid items; and bid results.
By: Abigail L. Ho
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer, Aug. 1, 2011
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