BIÑAN CITY – The local government unit (LGU) got almost nine times more registered micro-businesses in January upon rolling out an ordinance granting special business permit rates.
With a city legislation titled An Ordinance Granting Additional Incentives to BMBEs (Barangay Micro-Business Enterprises) in the City of Biñan, new business registrants with P100,000 capital would only have to pay P1,000 for a business permit, while ventures with P200,000 would have to pay P2,000.
The program catapulted the increase of registered BMBEs from 44 in 2022 to 427 in 2023.
“Winaive na natin, bilang incentive, 'yung regulatory fees, kasi maliliit na negosyante lamang sila. Before, noong wala tayong ordinansa, ang pinaka-mababang assessment nila ay P5,000, P6,000. So malaking tulong ito sa mga negosyante (As an incentive, we waived the regulatory fees because they are only micro-businesses. Before the ordinance, the lowest assessment would be P5,000, P6,000. So this is a big help to our entrepreneurs),” Councillor Christopher Alba, who authored the ordinance, told the Manila Bulletin in an interview on Thursday, Feb. 2.
Alba says the program seeks to bring forth the real number of micro-businesses in the city, with most entrepreneurs not being keen on having their ventures registered due to high fees.
Changing the mindset of local entrepreneurs
During a press conference for Araw ng Biñan on Feb. 2, Mayor Arman Dimaguila said 80 percent of Biñan’s tax collection is covered by the top 100 taxpayers – local businesses only cover the remaining 20 percent.
He said the incentive program is more than just a means to collect more taxes. Rather, it is a way to shift entrepreneurs' frame of mind about legitimizing their business.
“Binago natin 'yung mindset ng negosyanteng maliliit. At tinuruan natin sila na, in due time, pwede kayong mag-loan (We changed the mindset of micro-businesses. And we taught them that in due time, you can get a loan),” Dimaguila said.
“Meron akong kaibigan, malaki negosyo niya, kumikita siya. Gusto niyang pumunta ng Korea, Japan, wala siyang papel. Marami siyang pera, pero saan galing ang pera niya? (I have a friend with a big business, they are earning well. They want to go to Korea, Japan, but they do not have business documents. They have lots of money, but where did it come from?),” the mayor shared, talking about the benefits of having a registered business.
With the rollout of the ordinance, the city government is teaching new registrants how to do administrative tasks such as managing books of accounts and filing taxes.
The LGU is expecting the number of registered BMBEs to further increase over the coming months.