Doing business in the Philippines might be frustrating. I mean. You are with high hopes to prosper with your brilliant idea. But comes the registration, why does it take so long for the permits to be released?
You are ready to pass your business permit requirements. Only to wait hours before it’s your turn. And while waiting, you keep wondering why people who arrived after you get served first. Not to mention, the sometimes “surprise expense” to hasten the process, if you know what I mean.
According to the World Bank, it currently takes 28 days before you can set up your business in the Philippines. Without the connections and the extra outlay for “grease expense”, the normal Filipino is craving for this change.
Ease of Doing Business Act
Luckily, the government knows the normal Filipino’s call for help. Just last May 28, 2018, Republic Act No. 11032 named “Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act” was passed to hopefully get rid of red tape in government offices.
It superseded the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007, which will “solve the perennial problem of bureaucratic red tape and spare people of intolerable waiting time” as President Duterte exclaimed.
As a key point in his campaign against corruption, this law will give more power to police against the unscrupulous government officers and employees.
With that, this is what you can expect from the new law.
Faster Releasing for Government Transactions
Remember the 28 days average waiting time? Expect it to shorten significantly. The law mandates that government offices should process simple transactions within 3 days, 7 days for substantial transactions, and 20 days for highly technical transactions.
This is certainly will be well received.
Easier Registration with a Unified Business Application Form and a One-Stop Shop for Businesses
In the registration process, there are so many forms to be filled up from so many government agencies. The law wants to alleviate this hassle by creating a single unified business application form.
It will incorporate the forms for local taxes, building clearance, fire clearance, sanitary permit, zoning clearance, and other requirements in your area. This is not only for effective for new registrants but also on business renewals.
Alongside an easier registration process, a one-stop shop for business registration is required also to be set up by this law. This facility will include the processing of business permits, licensing offices, zoning offices, fire protection and treasury offices.
If you experienced waiting and getting lost in the vicinity of the city hall, this would be a big step-up. Ohh, the memories.
Where all the magic happens. If you were in Disneyland, this would be great. But in registering your business? No, please.
What’s good is that the new law mandates a “Zero-Contact Policy”. No government officer or employee in any manner unless strictly necessary should be in contact. So goodbye intimidation and unnecessary magical expense.
Permits Limited to Maximum Three Signatories
Sometimes, it just feels like your appeasing so many people. But coupled with the zero-contact policy, the law also limits the signatories for your application approval.
Now, only a maximum of three signatories is allowed for your licenses, clearances, permits, certifications, and authorizations. An electronic signature will also be recognized for the forms. This will surely cut down some waiting time.
Automated Electronic Systems and the Philippine Business Databank
The most promising update thus far. This law moves to automate the process for business permits. Local government units are required to integrate this process in their one-stop shop within a span of 3 years.
The law also establishes a central business portal that will receive all business applications. Additionally, a “Philippine Business Databank” will be set up to provide information on all registered businesses in the country. It can be used by the government agencies for verification.
To oversee the implementation, an Anti-Red Tape Authority under the Office of the President will monitor the local government offices for its compliance.
With that, I hope this act will enable Filipinos to have a hassle free experience in setting up their businesses. Good Luck!