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PIA Press Release

PGMA lauds city mayors for helping make RP an investment haven

Manila (19 February) -- President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo lauded the landmark adoption of a simplified and standardized business registration and permit processing in Metro Manila that would help make the country a more competitive, and put the Philippines on the map as an attractive investment destination.

"During this time of economic history when there are firms under strain from the global financial crisis, what the Metro Manila cities have presented today is truly monumental and momentous," President Arroyo said.

Addressing the 2nd National Convention of the League of Cities of the Philippines at Edsa Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong City, President Arroyo praised the Metro Manila mayors for working hard to reduce red tape and cost in government transactions.

The Metro Manila cities "have especially gone a long way to comply with the requirements of competitiveness through the standardization of the Metro Manila City business registration and permit processes which was launched in this convention. What was presented today will reduce red tape and the cost of doing business in Metro Manila," the President said.

Among the reforms committed by the Metro Manila mayors are the completion of simple transactions within five days and complex transactions within 10 days.

A very important reform committed by the Metro Manila Mayors is the reduction of the steps in the application for business permits from 19 procedures to just seven steps.

The move to improve the business climate in Metro Manila is a tangible manifestation of the commitment to comply with the provisions of Republic Act No. 94654, Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007, which was signed by President Arroyo in June 2007.

With the backing of the Cities, the initiative will bring down the barriers of red tape, increase government efficiency and opening up the door to doing business more easily at the local level.

The anti-red tape law is being implemented to eliminate bureaucratic red tape, avert graft and corruption practices and improve the efficiency of government frontline services.

One of the key provisions of the anti-red tape law is the formulation of the Citizen's Charter, a document that contains information of the frontline services provided by the local government unit to its citizens.

The charter shall include information such as vision and mission; identification of the frontline services offered, and the clientele; step-by-step procedure to obtain a particular service; officer or employee responsible for each step; maximum time to conclude the process; documents to be presented by the client; amount of fees, if necessary, procedure for filing of complaints in relation to requests and applications, among others.

The Anti-Red Tape Law makes it mandatory for officials and employees to accept written applications, requests and documents being submitted by clients. All applications or requests in frontline services shall be acted upon within the period prescribed under the citizen's charter, which in no case shall be longer than five working days for simple transactions, and 10 working days for complex transactions.

No application or request shall be returned to the client without appropriate action. If the LGU fails to act on an application or request for renewal of a license, permit or authority subject to renewal within the prescribed period, said permit, license or authority shall automatically be extended until a decision or resolution is rendered on the application for renewal.

The other significant provisions of the law include the limitation of the number of signatories to a maximum of five signatures; adoption of appropriate working schedules to ensure that all clients are attended to and served during lunch break and after regular working hours; providing frontline services as early a 7 a.m. and as late as 7 p.m.; establishment of public assistance or complaints desks, hotline numbers, and one-stop-shop. (PIA 8) [top]

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