Thinking ahead

Published November 9, 2020, 7:02 PM

by John Tria

#MINDANAO

John Tria
John Tria

As the last weeks of this eventful year come upon us, thoughts of planning for 2021 start occupying our minds.

Many businesses have begun making the necessary adjustments to boost their recovery and be strong for the future, and along with it is the setting up of systems that facilitate effective work-from- home arrangements, the use of digital tools to manage work outputs and outcomes, remote management of inventory, and online sales channels that can improve revenues.

Thanks to the Internet, the resources, possibilities, approaches, and actual experiences of other companies are useful examples towards building that necessary resilience. May this continue.  Eventually, we will all overcome.

Ease of doing business updates

A number of agencies have now ramped up their digitalized, contact-free processes in accordance with the Ease of Doing Business Law of 2018, and in response to the need for reduced physical contact in light of pandemic protocols.

The DENR-Environmental Management Bureau established an online appointment system and begun requiring new and renewal applications for permit to operate for air pollution sources, Discharge Permit and Environmental Compliance Certificate applications and issuances online, an expansion from the initial processes in 2019. Likewise, public participation requirements for EIAs, such as public coping meetings with stakeholders, are now mandated to use digital tools such as online meetings. Visitwww.emb.gov.ph to download copies of the relevant memorandum circulars covering these new normal guidelines so that these can be followed. These make the work of Pollution Control Officers of various companies more efficient and safe.

We hope that the other DENR agencies can begin digitalizing the applications for other applications especially for tree cutting permits and transport of natural resources products.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue has also implemented more digitalized processes through an e appointment feature now on its website with BIR personnel. This will make transactions easier.

Reader response on minerals industry

 I have received questions about last week’s column on the minerals industry. (https://mb.com.ph/2020/11/02/possibilities-hope-and-vigilance/). Basically their question is how many jobs can potentially be created? Well, according to information in the the MGB website, four jobs upstream and downstream are created. As more downstream industries are created, such as those for metal products, for example, the multiplier increases.(https://mgb.gov.ph/attachments/article/162/mining%20facts%20and%20figures%20updated%20March%202019.pdf)

CREATE for resilience

Supported by various business groups including the PCCI, the CREATE bill now under legislative discussion aims to lower corporate income taxes. Apart from allowing our tax rates to be at par with those of our ASEAN neighbors, lower taxes enables many businesses to engage the new normal. Businesses can allocate more earnings for digitalization, innovation, higher purchase of local supplies and reaching out to new markets. These are measures that will help many us local businesses  in the rural areas recover.

National ID will be a very good thing 

More than 3 million have already signed up for their national ID. This is a welcome development since this can facilitate effective government and banking transactions (even receipt of benefits) as it is done in many countries. No longer will we need to cough up “two government issued IDS’ and that tedious “verification” of birth certificates which has made simple tasks such as passport renewals such a chore in the past.

Eat local fruits

A study by the UPLB notes that many indigenous fruits like bignay and pili are high in antioxidants. Eating more fruit is wise to boost our immunity. Read it here:https://mb.com.ph/2020/11/07/uplb-researchers-find-indigenous-fruits-rich-in-antioxidants/

Lets continue to stay safe and buy Local to support our entrepreneurs!

 
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