By Dhel Nazario
Project Express Lane Operation (ELO) 2.0 was launched on Thursday in Parañaque City, making the city the first local government unit to comply with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to simplify and expedite the process of the release of permits and licenses.
Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez said Project ELO 2.0 includes the country’s first-ever computerized Occupational Permit system which is part of its ongoing automation program.
It is the first LGU in the country to integrate the barangay business clearance in their BOSS (One Stop Shop) operations in the City Hall, making the city fully-compliant with RA 11032 also known as the Ease of Doing Business Act.
Project ELO 2,0 is the second phase of the city’s Project ELO first launched in January.
Project ELO was first launched with one of its features including the elimination of securing permits from the different barangays, previously a prerequisite before a Mayor’s permit is granted, according to Olivarez. With the new project, the first in the country, he said, business owners need not go to barangay hall to apply for a barangay clearance.
“This is a game changer,” Olivarez said. “This should boost our ongoing efforts to digitize and computerize all our systems especially those involving applications for business and work permits, which will enhance investor confidence and improve service delivery.”
Atty. Melanie Malaya, head of the Business Permits and Licensing Office, said that under the project, occupational permit applicants need only to fill up one application form covering the work permit, sanitary or health permit, and police clearance.
She added that there will also be a single assessment and one payment made to the City Treasurer’s Office, capped by the issuance of one unified permit – a clearance identification card called the Parañaque HELP card.
With the card, various permits and clearances needed by Parañaque residents are integrated in one card such as the Occupational Permit, Health Certificate, and Police Clearance.
The system likewise provides for online application and scheduling, uploading of pictures, bulk printing of occupational IDs for large firms, full integration with the Business Permits and Licensing System, off-site availability (including payments) and no-contact processing through the Smart Kiosk.
“The Smart Kiosk is a self-service facility which allows a client to print an application form for renewal of business permit and also the statement of account for the quarterly payments of business taxes and fees. Printing can be done either by using a QR Code or the use of the client’s Business Identification Number,” said Malaya.
Another unique feature of Project ELO 2.0 is the Document Management System where scanned documents are kept in a central storage that can be accessed anytime by business permit applicants.
It also includes an application tracking system that allows clients to monitor the progress of their application on queuing monitors that display the status of their transaction real-time.