500 LGUs reminded to automate biz one-stop shop this year

Are you a business owner who recently struggled with the processes at your local government unit (LGU) because their electronic Business One-Stop Shop (e-BOSS) did not function properly and proved to be inefficient? Perhaps they did not have an e-BOSS?

Here are some good news – a Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) was approved yesterday designed to ensure that the e-BOSS systems of LGUs get automated this year.

To put things in perspective, e-BOSS uses the Electronic Business Permitting and Licensing System or eBPLS developed by the Department of Information and Communications Technology allowing the public to perform government transactions online. e-BOSS targets to fully automate transactions in LGUs from downloading of forms, using e-signature, up to online payment.

By comparison, the old system BOSS is defined as a single-window system that streamlines application forms and submission of documents in government offices in one window only.

Going back to the news related to the JCM, below is an excerpt from the news release published through Philippine News Agency (PNA). Some parts are in bold to highlight importance of details.

Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) director general Jeremiah Belgica targets to have at least 500 local government units (LGUs) rolling out the electronic Business One-Stop Shop (e-BOSS) by end-2021.

During the virtual signing ceremony of the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) 01-2021 Tuesday, ARTA reminded LGUs that they should have automated their BOSS before June 17 this year.

The JMC establishes the guidelines for processing business permits, related clearances, and licenses in all cities and municipalities.

“Hopefully by the end of the year, we will have 500 LGUs already automated by DICT’s (Department of Information and Communications Technology) IBPLS (Integrated Business Permits and Licensing System) software,” Belgica said.

DICT project manager for IBPLS Del Basada said the department has signed memoranda of agreement with 446 LGUs, of which more than 200 LGUs are already in the operational stage of the system.

“(We are) just making sure that everyone’s (is) onboard for IBPLS which is an online system. We look at their readiness first if they can adopt the system,” Basada said, adding the DICT is assisting LGUs in addressing challenges to do online transactions.

Meanwhile, Belgica said while the IBPLS software works well even with smaller LGUs, he urged highly urbanized cities to fast-track adopting the integrated system so they can go online for their BOSS before the June 17 deadline.

“We are encouraging the highly urbanized cities to actually automate the soonest because they have the most number of businesses,” he added.

Under the newly signed JMC, the e-BOSS should have the following functions: accepting electronic submission of application; electronic issuance of tax bill or order of payment; accepting online payment, releasing of electronic version of permits, licenses, and clearances; and providing gateway facility linked to courier service where applicant prefers hard copy of the documents.

The JMC also limits the documentary requirements and will implement a unified application form with a unique identification number.

ARTA reminds LGUs that they should not require notarization of the requirements.

It added barangay clearances related to business permit applications shall be integrated and processed by the Business Processing and Licensing Office. Number of signatories in the documents shall be limited to three.

So there you have it! An official document made it final that local government units should have the e-BOSS automated and functioning with the expected efficiency, transparency and results fulfilled. Given the fact that we are all still living under the pandemic of the China Virus (COVID-19), this latest development is indeed crucial and improvements on the part of LGUs should happen this year.

If you are a business owner who struggled with the processes at your local government and you wish to speak out, please post in the comments below. You can also send to me a private message.

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