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Tabuk City, Philippines launches electronic business permit and licensing system

Image credit: Philippine Information Agency

In a bid to level-up its business registration programme, the Tabuk city government recently launched the Electronic Business Permit and Licensing System (eBPLS). The system is a cloud-based software developed by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) that allows end-users to file applications for new permits or to renew them online.

A representative of the City Business Permit and Licensing Office said the project is part of the city government’s programme on paperless transactions. This is also in line with the national government’s thrust to facilitate transactions in government agencies.

According to a press release, with the system, the registration of business is made very accessible even to business owners who may be out of the city or outside investors who have businesses within the city. The system also allows the outright downloading of business permit and license copies, which shortens processing.

The payment of registration fees can also be made through accredited banks and remittance centres, making the process convenient. Set to be fully operational this month, the system is seen to contribute to the city’s revenue collection performance. Around 4,248 business operators in the region are expected to renew business permits and licenses this year.

Last December, the municipality of Alfonso Lista in Ifugao launched the eBPLS, and owners in the region are enjoying faster and easier business permits and licensing applications. The system was a welcome development for the municipality. The eBPLS is expected to increase revenue generation with the automation of business licensing. With the increase in revenue, more projects can be implemented for its constituents.

The automation was a joint undertaking of the DICT along with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to reduce the processing time and requirements of government transactions through the Ease of Doing Business Law or Republic Act No. 11032.

“The road towards the implementation of eBPLS here has been challenging knowing the struggles in connectivity in the Cordillera and the lack of needed ICT resources. Nonetheless, we persevered. With our collaboration with the LGU, DTI, and DILG, we are able to make it happen.” DICT Ifugao Provincial Officer Donald Trinidad had said.

Alfonso Lista was the first municipality in the Cordillera Administrative Region to adopt the eBPLS to promote a more competitive business environment in the area. The adoption of the eBPLS in the municipalities of Tinoc and Lamut is also in the pipeline. IT officers, business permits and licensing officers, and treasury personnel have already undergone the Users’ Training and Data Build-up.

“…DICT will continue to implement the eBPLS to institute streamlined and more convenient permit processing. But our support to local governments and remote communities will not end there, and through our coordination with other concerned agencies, we shall intensify our e-governance programmes to drive digital transformation forward,” DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II claimed.

More recently, OpenGov Asia reported that DICT also launched the Central Business Portal (CBP) to expedite the registration of businesses and allow business owners to transact more conveniently. The portal is a one-stop-shop for new enterprises across the country.

To register their business, applicants must go online and apply from different government agencies for all permits and licenses necessary for putting up a business. Through this virtual process, DICT anticipates a faster turnaround time for business applications.

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