aBy Ellson Quismorio
A Bicol solon on Sunday hailed the recent signing into law of the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act, saying it would sustain the Philippine’s high-growth momentum and create more jobs for Filipinos.
In a statement, Camarines Sur 2nd district Rep. LRay Villafuerte said the measure would put in place an efficient system for processing government-related transactions as well as other business-friendly initiatives designed to attract more investments.
“The Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act would entice investors to relocate here as the law further reduces the prescribed processing time for business and nonbusiness-related transactions in all government offices and agencies, including local government units (LGUs), government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs),” Villafuerte said.
Signed by President Rodrigo Duterte a month ago, the law requires government agencies to act on applications within three days for simple transactions, seven days for complex ones and 20 days for the highly technical.
Villafuerte, who was the principal author of the measure in the House of Representatives, said another key feature of this investor-friendly law is the “zero-contact” policy. He noted this is meant to curb official corruption.
The congressman said that with this policy, no government officer or employee shall have any contact, in any manner, unless strictly necessary, with any applicant or requesting party concerning an application or request for government documents, except during the preliminary assessment of the request and evaluation of the sufficiency of submitted requirements.
The new law also establishes an Ease of Doing Business Commission, which shall be the policy-making body on business registration and regulatory management, Villafuerte noted.
The Commission, which will be an attached agency under the Office of the President, shall also set the overall direction for the implementation of a national policy on the ease of doing business.
Moreover, the former three-term CamSur governor said the law also provides for a computerized or software-enabled business permit and licensing system (BPLS), with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) providing technical assistance in the planning and implementation of the BPLS.
A business one-stop shop (BOSS) shall also be set up for the city or municipal BPLS to receive and process the manual or electronic submission of license, clearance or permit applications, Villafuerte said.
For cities and municipalities without a BPLS, the BOSS will also be established. A queuing mechanism will be placed in BOSSes without the capacity for electronic submissions to better manage the flow of applications at the local government level.
Villafuerte said the EODB law will help cement the Philippines’ newfound status as the world’s “best country to invest in,” as shown by a recent survey conducted by the US News and World Report in coordination with the Wharton School of Business and Y&R’s BAV Group.
He earlier stated the Philippines was able to secure its position as the world’s premier investment destination because of President Duterte’s strong political will to pursue reforms that are necessary to sustain the country’s growth momentum and make this growth more inclusive for all Filipinos.
“Investors have seen that the President is bent on instituting reforms that will further invigorate our economy and make our bureaucracy function more efficiently. These include the government’s unprecedented spending on infrastructure and human capital that many see as a game changer,” Villafuerte said.