By JOSEPH JOHN J PEREZ
LEGAZPI CITY: Local government units in the Bicol region are in upbeat mood following the reported rise in revenues due to the increasing number of new business applications and renewal of licenses with the implementation of the Business Permits and Licensing System (BPLS) project being pursued by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) .
“More than P67 million or 22% increase in revenues derived from 2,864 establishments representing the 15% increase in business applications due to BPLS reforms were recorded in the region in the initial stages of its implementation,” DILG acting Regional Director Elouisa Pastor reported during the recent meeting of the Development Administration Committee (DAC) of the Regional Development Council (DAC) held at the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) based in this city.
Pastor noted that from the total revenues of P301,033,946.32 in 2010, the Bicol Region posted a total of P368,729,435.41 taxes collected in 2011.
The number of registered businesses also roseregion wide from 19,066 to 21,930 for the same period.
“Biggest gainer is Daet (Camarines Norte) with 82% increase followed by Pili (CamSur) with 45% increase and Guinobatan (Albay) with 28% increase in business tax collection,” Pastor said.
Daet’s total business tax collection amounted to P16,618,253.83 in 2011 from P9,143,046.51 in 2010 while Pili collected P9,105,651.00 in 2011 from P6,293,863.00 in 2010.
Guinobatan, on the other hand, gained P3,659,463.44 in 2011 compared to P3,659,463.44 in 2010.
“All the 114 LGUs in Bicol are already 100% covered by the BPLS Streamlining Program since its implementation effective last year,” Pastor said.
BPLS was initially piloted by DILG in 15 LGUs in 2010; 50 more LGUs were covered in 2011; additional 41 LGUs in 2012; and the 8 remaining LGUs were covered in 2013, Pastor added.
The BPLS is in response to the challenge set by President Benigno Aquino III during his 2010 State of the Nation Address (SONA) when he stated, thus: “While we look for more ways to streamline our processes to make business start-ups easier, I hope the LGUs can also find ways to implement reforms that will be consistent with the ones we have already started.”
“We are now into computerization of data base and records management through setting up of e-system,” Pastor said.
According to DILG, The first component of the project is the simplification and standardization of BPLS process for new registrations and renewals. The next step is the computerization of the BPLS process followed by improvement in customer relations and finally the institutionalization of reforms.
The project aims to streamline the BPLS in as many LGUs as possible nationwide, recommend minimum service standards for new business applications and renewals for LGUs, develop capacity building programs for BPLS streamlining, organize government agencies at the regional level to work with LGUs in implementing the BPLS reforms, harness private sector support and participation for BPLS reforms and harmonize different reform initiatives by development partners on BPLS streamlining.
Under the project, LGUs are expected to increase their revenues, save in resources and personnel time, obtain better information on business profile, and improve their image as model of good governance. The local businesses meanwhile can benefit through savings in time and financial resources, improved access to financing and make more contribution to local investments, DILG said. – PIA5 – Albay