Amid the spike in COVID-19 cases at the start of the year, the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) has called on local government units (LGUs) to extend the period of business permit renewals and payment of real property tax until March 31.
ARTA Director General Jeremiah Belgica said local chief executives have the power to move the renewal and payment from January 3 to 20 up to the end of the first quarter of this year.
“This is a time for us to approach situations with more compassion and sensitivity. With a record-breaking number of COVID-19 cases being announced almost every day, we at ARTA believe it is only right to extend the period of renewal of business permits,” Belgica said in a statement yesterday.
He also reminded LGUs to adopt the electronic Business One-Stop-Shop (e-BOSS), which automates business permitting and licensing systems, that will ease transactions between government offices and the public and will reduce face-to-face contact to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
“We are again calling on the LGUs to set up their electronic business one-stop shops. Doing so will allow both the public and government employees to conduct their business-related transactions in a safe, contactless, and convenient way, which is ideal especially during this pandemic,” the ARTA chief added.
The Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Delivery of Government Service Act of 2018 or the EODB law mandates all LGUs to establish an e-BOSS.
In Memorandum Circular No. 57 issued last November 22, Malacañang directed all LGUs to submit their progress on e-BOSS compliance.
According to ARTA, 917 LGUs are already integrated into the Integrated Business Permits and Licensing System (IBPLS).
Through this system, citizens are now able to transact with their LGUs in the comfort of their homes by using their gadgets including mobile phones.
“The Authority has been coordinating with LGU leagues such as the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP), League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) and League of Provinces of the Philippines to ensure the LGUs’ compliance with the Ease of Doing Business law,” ARTA added.*PNA