ARTA czar pushes to speed up processing of business permit renewals

Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) Director General Jeremiah Belgica is encouraging local government units (LGUs) and national government agencies to no longer require the submission or filing of business renewal applications and just adopt online payment in a bid to speed up processing of business permit renewals during this pandemic.

Belgica believes that companies with no changes in the nature of their businesses do not need to file regularly the same application documents for business permit renewals.

“Just digital payment (maybe needed) and it should be automatically renewed… If the payment has not been made, that’s the time that the government agency could flag the applicant that you have not renewed therefore, we would be cancelling your permit,” he said during the general membership meeting of the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (PHILEXPORT).

Belgica expressed hope such measures will be “properly carried” by Congress.

This, as the ARTA, together with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and other partner national government agencies, have launched the first phase of Central Business Portal (CBP), an online one-stop shop for registering business in the country.

Belgica said the CBP phase one coverage includes unified application form for agencies, online registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), online generation of taxpayer identification number (TIN) for BIR, and employers’ numbers for Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG.

He said its new features are online payment for BIR filing and registration fees, unified employee reporting module for SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG, issuance of secondary license featuring FDA’s license to operate for Center of Drugs, interface with Quezon City business permitting system and 16 LGUs with electronic business permitting and licensing system (eBPLS), and redirection with Paranaque City business permitting system.

“Not all of the agencies involved in the central business portal already carry the renewal process in the portal. Phase one is focused on starting a business but there are LGUs already who actually also automated their business renewal processes like Quezon City and the other LGUs,” he added.

Belgica further said the creation of CBP by DICT is mandated by Republic Act 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.

“(It) serves as a central system to receive applications and capture application data involving business-related transactions,” he said.

Meanwhile, the ARTA is set to launch next month the Go SmARTApp, a single platform that will harmonize the existing systems of the DICT, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and other government agencies that aim to simplify government transactions and doing business in the country.

“This is for free to be used LGUs, we are going to roll this out together with DICT,” Belgica said.

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