LGUs urged: Extend business permit renewal up to end-Q1

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) is urging local government units (LGUs) to extend the period for renewal of business permits and payment of real property tax until the end of the first quarter given the surge in COVID cases.

In a statement yesterday, ARTA director general Jeremiah Belgica said the extension is being pushed due to the rising number of COVID infections.

The renewal for business permits is from Jan. 3 to 20.

“This is a time for us to approach situations with more compassion and sensitivity. With the record-breaking number of COVID-19 cases being announced almost every day, we at ARTA believe it is only right to extend the period of renewal of business permits,” Belgica said.

“Public health should be the government’s topmost priority right now. People traveling to city halls to renew their business permits and pay their real property tax would not help in curbing the spread of the virus,” he said.

ARTA also reminded LGUs to fully automate their business permit and licensing systems, in line with Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.

“We are again calling on the LGUs to set up their electronic business one-stop shops. Doing so will allow both the public and government employees to conduct their business-related transactions in a safe, contactless and convenient way, which is ideal especially during this pandemic,” Belgica said.

In November last year, the Office of the President issued Memorandum Circular 57, which ordered local chief executives to submit reports to the ARTA and the Department of the Interior and Local Government on the progress in automation of their business permit and licensing system.

To ensure compliance of LGUs with the Ease of Doing Business Act, ARTA  is working with the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, League of Cities of the Philippines, League of Municipalities of the Philippines and League of Provinces of the Philippines.

The Ease of Doing Business Act aims to streamline government service procedures.

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