Most LGUs don’t have online processing portals of business forms

 

 

By Rose de la Cruz

 

Now that the Ease of Doing Business has become a law, the next step is for government to ensure that all local government units are adept and capable of processing the downloadable forms for business—online.

 

This was the advice of Rep. Henry Ong, one of the principal authors of the law and vice chair of the committee on banks and financial intermediaries of the House, as he stressed that the law was meant to generate new and continuing direct investments in the Philippines economy to the level of provinces, cities, towns and barangays.

 

Among the envisioned result, he said, is more new jobs for Filipinos.

 

“We need more local government units like the town of Baler in Aurora province which is able to register new businesses through an online portal. Baler ranked first in the DTI’s 2017 competitiveness rankings among 3rd to 6th class municipalities,” he said.

 

Most other LGUs just make business forms downloadable online and must still be filed in person.

 

Not even Quezon City, which is supposed to be country’s role model on EODB and upon which the World Bank bases its annual global EODB rankings, has an online business registration portal.

 

Most LGU websites merely contain descriptions and pictures of landmarks, as well as government propaganda, but very rarely do any of them have useful data businesses need for economic and market research, Ong said.

 

The Philippines’ WB EODB ranking for 2018 is 113th in the world, 16th in East Asia and the Pacific, and a low 24th in Starting a Business (for East Asia and the Pacific). Way ahead of us in the region are Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, Mongolia, and Indonesia.

 

Merely having a new EODB Law will not significantly boost our comparative competitiveness ranking. We must be able to implement the law effectively and sustainably with real zero corruption and red tape.

 

Considering all these, we ask the Departments of Trade and Industry and Interior and Local Government to execute a full court press implementation of the EODB Law, with emphasis on 100 percent execution by those LGUs in the top 20 of the DTI competitiveness and DILG Seal of Good Local Governance ratings by December 2018.

 

We also ask the DTI and DILG to report to Congress their detailed action plan and implementation program for the EODB Law. We need specific measurable and verifiable metrics to assess progress or lack thereof, he said.

 

 

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