The city government of Pasig is doing a lot to promote ease of doing business in the city, including a plan to set up a whole floor of the city hall for processing all business transactions, according to city mayor Vico Sotto.
At a recent forum participated by Sotto and other young city mayors of Metro Manila, Sotto said his new administration is focusing in particular on improving processes and transparency to discourage corruption, facilitate doing business, and attract more investors to the city.
He said they are mulling the establishment of a dedicated floor for all business transactions at the city hall. “Our plan is for the whole third floor, andun na lahat [everything is there],” including the business process and licensing office, he said.
He also clarified that he does not plan to change all the projects and programs of the previous administration. “It’s more of the system that we’re trying to change.”
He explained: “Maybe 95% of the projects and programs of the past administration I actually continued. But we checked to make sure that everything is transparent, the system is now participatory, and there’s accountability in the way we do things.”
At the same time, the local government is in the process of reviewing and amending its revenue code to attract those who would like to invest in the city, he said.
Meanwhile, acknowledging the traffic situation in the city, Sotto said his administration is eyeing the increased utilization of the Pasig River ferry system as an alternative mode of transportation. He said Pasig has already had one of two ferry boats delivered to augment the two already running.
“We will have two 57-seater ferries that we will turn over to the MMDA [Metropolitan Manila Development Authority]. We will work closely with them in the operation of the river ferry.”
While the new boat deliveries will double the capacity of the ferry system, he said this is still not enough. “After the pilot run we will probably buy more as long as everything is going smoothly.”
He also mentioned that one of his first initiatives as mayor is to establish an information and complaint center called Ugnayan sa Pasig as he stressed the need for increased people’s participation for more inclusive development.
The center is where people may go to file complaints or request for information, he said. “Gumawa kami ng proseso sa Pasig kung saan puedeng pumunta kahit sinong mamamayan at magreklamo at sabihin ang saloobin nila ang nakikita nila sa amin na puede naming baguhin [We created a process in Pasig where every citizen can go to make a complaint and inform us of what they think needs to be changed.],”