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PIA Press Release

NERBAC provincial rollout expected to streamline biz registration

By Lowell Vallecer

Zamboanga City (5 August) -- Briefings and orientation on the National Economic research and Business Assistance Center (NERBAC) were recently conducted in the cities of Pagadian, Dipolog and in the municipality of Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Regional Director Nazrullah Manzur said that the orientation is in connection with the marching orders of Secretary Gregory Domingo to rollout the NERBAC in all provinces of the country within the latter's first 100 days in office as DTI secretary.

The NERBAC Law or Republic Act 7470, stipulates that the NERBAC shall act as a one-stop action center to facilitate the processing and documentation of all paper requirements necessary for the establishment of a business enterprise.

"By housing all business permit and licensing agencies under one roof, the center aims to reduce the turn-around time, reduce transaction cost and improve transparency by minimizing if not eradicating completely the maze of bureaucratic red tape an investor has to wade through in registering his business in the country", Manzur explained.

"Right now, Zamboanga Peninsula's regional NERBAC is located at the 3rd floor of VHW Building at Veterans Avenue in Zamboanga City. It is managed by the DTI through its center manager, Ms. Hermina B. Cuevas. Personnel from DTI, city government of Zamboanga, Pag-IBIG, SSS, CDA, Philhealth and BIR regularly report there to facilitate business registration", Manzur disclosed.

"However, it is still far from the ideal of having all documentary requirements processed at the center because of certain constraints such as the absence of interconnectivity of databases of the aforementioned agencies at present. A solution though, is currently being undertaken to address this through the Philippine business Registry (PBR) project spearheaded by the DTI", Manzur said

"The NERBAC at the provincial level is ideally to be managed by the local government unit (LGU) and may be housed together with the LGU's Business Permit and Licensing Office. This is in view of a study that revealed getting a mayor's permit is one of the most time and cost intensive procedures in registering a business in the Philippines", Manzur added.

The provincial heads and representatives of Pag-IBIG, SSS, BIR, Philhealth, DA, DENR, DOST, NEDA, CDA, DOLE, DILG and the LGUs of Ipil, Pagadian and Dipolog who attended the briefings gave their commitment of support to the establishment of the NERBAC in their respective areas.

"The orientation is actually just the first of several rollout activities we have lined up to equip the provincial NERBAC personnel. These include capability building trainings on investment facilitation for both local and foreign investors, BPLS streamlining for LGUs, knowledge management, and PBR connectivity", Manzur said.

"We envision to have a fully working provincial NERBAC in two year's time as we position it to act as a single window for investments facilitation and trade (SWIFT) by integrating into it eventually the one-stop export documentation center", Manzur said.

"This is not actually something we have recently thought of. The NERBAC-SWIFT project had been successfully piloted for years now in Davao City by then DTI Davao Regional Director and now DTI Undersecretary for Regional Operations, Engr. Merly Cruz. It is now being replicated in all regions across the country as part of the national government's strategy to improve the country's competitiveness", Manzur said in closing. (DTI9/PIA9-BST) [top]

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