Commentary: Do away with red tape
By Henry S. Lagasca
San Fernando City, La Union (6 November) -- Lack of uniformity of business rules and regulations and stiff taxes are stumbling blocks of businessmen and prospective investors intending to establish business ventures in the locality.
Small and medium entrepreneurs are even complaining about securing a simple business license which carries too many signatures before the permit could be released.
In the case of San Fernando City, La Union, awarded as this year's one of the most "business-friendly" city in the Philippines, is leading the way among local government units (LGUs), particularly small cities, by scoring high in the latest evaluation under the Philippine City Competitiveness Ranking Project (PCCRP) of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM).
Implemented by the Regional Development Council (RDC) and its secretariat arm NEDA, the PCCRP is a benchmarking tool for LGUs and investors which assesses the general well-being of a city and underscores its performance on the cost of doing business and its responsiveness in prioritizing economic programs and projects.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo prodded LGUs to do away with red tape to reduce business transaction cost and make the country more attractive to investors.
LGUs must come up with uniform rules and regulations in their dealings with the business sector.
The concerns were cited by the PCCRP evaluation which ranked San Fernando City as number one among other 44 cities monitored and evaluated. The city has adapted a one-stop shop that assist businessmen and entrepreneurs in expediting action on their business registration and licensing, as well as investment promotion and marketing facilitation.
The city government and the entire officialdom were challenged to maintain its outstanding performance, hence, has come up with a much-improved action plan and strategic economic and business information and research assistance to expedite business formation and encouraging the growth of entrepreneurship and jobs creation in the locality.
The RDC has also matched the LGU effort by coming up with a capability building program to help promote local businesses, income and revenue.
Apart from promoting the locality as an investor-friendly area, the capability building program will also paves the way for a viable socio-economic development and to facilitate the entry of prospective investors in the locality. (PIA Region 1) [top]