EDITORIAL - One-stop shop

The Philippine Star

After renewing old acquaintances during the holidays, it’s time for another type of renewal. This is the time of year when business licenses and permits are renewed. This is also the time of year when the country is measured for ease of doing business. Against almost all of its neighbors, the Philippines has failed to measure up, consistently ranking just a little ahead of the least developed countries in the region in international surveys on ease of doing business.

Red tape, overlapping fees, corruption and plain inefficiency have made starting, operating and even closing a business among the most unpleasant experiences in this country. They have been consistently included in lists of the biggest disincentives to investment. Local government units are particularly notorious, with the problems starting at city hall and going all the way down to barangay offices.

Surely it doesn’t take rocket science to overhaul the system. Taguig, for example, has shown that it’s possible to cut red tape and make life easier for those wanting to do business in the city. The result of investment-friendly policies is evident in the city’s rapid progress. It’s no accident that Taguig has been cited in previous studies as the best city for doing business in the country. This year the city has opened a business one-stop shop or BOSS center at city hall for the speedy renewal of business permits and registration. The center will be open until Jan. 20.

Where there are investments, there are jobs. This means greater purchasing power for residents. It means more revenue for the city government to improve the delivery of basic services including education, health care, garbage collection and maintenance of roads. It means more funds to keep the streets safe.

If one local government unit can simplify procedures to make doing business easier, there’s no reason why others can’t. This can be especially useful in disaster-stricken areas that are badly in need of job-generating enterprises. Making investors feel welcome is good business.













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