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Government rolls out one-stop shop for business registration

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - January 29, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The government yesterday launched the first phase of the central business portal (CBP) or online one-stop shop for business registration.

Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) director general Jeremiah Belgica said the first phase of the CBP would reduce the number of steps and days to register a business.

“From 13 steps, we seek to just reduce it to one step and from the 33 days processing to 0.5 or less than a day,” he said.

The first phase of the CBP provides a unified application form for agencies and covers the registration with agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), as well as generation of tax identification number for BIR, and employer numbers for the Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), and Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG Fund.

Other features of the CBP include online payment for BIR filing and registration fees, unified employee reporting module for SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG, and issuance of secondary license featuring Food and Drug Administration’s license to operate for Center for Drugs.

In addition, the CBP provides links to the business permitting system of Quezon City, Parañaque City and 16 other local government units (LGUs).

Apart from lowering the number of steps and days to get a business started, Belgica said the CBP is also expected to allow the country to improve its standing particularly in the starting a business indicator of the World Bank’s Doing Business Report.

In the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2020, the Philippines placed 171st in the Starting a Business indicator.

Compared to its neighbors in Southeast Asia, the Philippines was only ahead of Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Cambodia, and lagged behind Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.

“We want to leapfrog and to make a radical change in order for us to be not only more competitive amongst the region or among neighboring countries within Southeast Asia but also globally,” Belgica said.

The CBP is mandated under Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 which seeks to curb red tape in government processes.

President Duterte said in a recorded video message the launch of the first phase of the CBP shows what can be accomplished through the partnership between the government and the private sector.

“Together, let us continue working towards a more productive and empowered citizenry,” he said.

For his part, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the implementation of the CBP is the fulfillment of the administration’s promise that the public should not suffer when getting permits.

For the next phases, business permitting systems of more LGUs would be linked to the CBP.

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