New one-stop shop for businesses seen to cut agonizing red tape

Christian V. Esguerra, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 28 2020 06:18 PM

MANILA—The Philippine government on Friday opened a national one-stop shop hoping to cut through its “self-inflicted” red tape and speed up the process of business registration to less than a week or even an hour.

The current 33-day process weighs on businesses and dropped the country to 171st place in a World Bank report on the ease of starting one here this year. 

Officials were confident the Philippines would improve its ranking with the launch of the National Business One-Stop Shop (NBOSS), which integrates and places all agencies that have to do with applying for business permits in one room.

The new facility is housed at the Securities and Exchange Commission building at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

“Ang pinaka-importante ay talagang madadalian ang taong-bayan. Wala nang pila. Wala nang pabalik-balik,” said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.

“That’s the kind of mindset we should have in government.”

The NBOSS is initially available to one-person corporations but will later cover other types of companies.

The project will promote greater transparency, said Secretary Gregorio Honasan of Department of Information and Communications Technology, who criticized what he called “self-inflicted bureaucratic red tape.”

BURDENSOME

A central business portal helps by receiving data and providing links to other government agencies, according to the Department of Information and Communications Technology.

“Streamlining is no longer optional,” said Jeremiah Belgica, director-general of the Anti-Red Tape Authority.

“Ang dating sinasabing 33 days, ngayon ay one day or less na.”

Later, more one-stop-shop facilities will be put up in Metro Manila and the regions, implementing a 2018 law that sought to tear down bureaucratic barriers to quick business registration.

The program will require agencies to automate their respective processes to link with the NBOSS, said Belgica.

Local governments have also begun introducing their own integrated and automated business permit issuance systems.

Valenzuela City, for instance, began a 10-second business application process last year. 

Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered government agencies to remove “redundant or burdensome” processes, describing them as “manifestations of overregulation.”