The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) conducted surprise inspections of the Business-One Stop Shops (BOSS) of all 17 Local Government Units (LGUs) in the National Capital Region throughout January – the period for renewing business permits in the Philippines. The series of inspections aimed to monitor the LGUs’ compliance with the provisions of Republic Act 11032 or Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 in relation to business permit application and renewal.

Using a mix of on-site inspections whilst observing safety protocols and online inspections via teleconferencing platform Zoom, ARTA looked over the business registration and renewal processes of the cities of Navotas, Manila, Makati, Muntinlupa, Pasig, Las Pinas, Pasay, San Juan, Valenzuela, Mandaluyong, Taguig, Marikina, Caloocan, Quezon, Malabon, Paranaque, and the municipality of Pateros – the inspections on all of which were also broadcasted live and could be re-watched on ARTA’s Facebook page.

ARTA, who was also joined by representatives from the Department of Interior and Local Government on each inspection, checked on the important requirements and features that are expected from the LGUs’ BOSS. Among these requirements are the (a) presence of an updated and complete Citizen’s Charter at the most conspicuous place; (b) a single window for receiving all applications and accompanying requirements; (c) a unified business application form; (d) a three simple step process of business permit application (submission, assessment/payment and release); and the (e) integration of applications for Barangay Clearance and for (f) Fire Safety Inspection/Evaluation Clearance.

Of all the 17 LGUs visited, ARTA found that only eight municipalities have started their transition to the Electronic Business One Stop Shops (eBOSS). Director General Jeremiah Belgica thus reminded all LGUs, not just in Metro Manila but nationwide, who are yet to set up their eBOSS to fast track its implementation to meet the June 17, 2021 deadline provided by R.A. 11032.

Apart from the walk-through of the application process for business registration and renewal at the BOSS with their present official/s, the ARTA team on-site also gathered feedbacks from some applicants as part of its monitoring activity. Following these inspections, ARTA sent/will be sending the LGUs its formal assessment and recommendations on how they could further improve their existing processes in compliance to R.A. 11032.

“Those who will be found to be noncompliant with all requirements shall receive Notice of Deficiencies and may be subjected to a formal investigation which may result to an administrative case”, said Director General Jeremiah Belgica. LGUs who still have no EBOSS may use the Electronic Business Permitting and Licensing System or eBPLS developed by DICT which is already available for free.

This month, ARTA also conducted surprise visits to other government offices such as the Social Security System branch at SM Aura, Professional Regulation Commission in Morayta, and the Food and Drug Administration, immediately after receiving reports on inefficiencies from concerned citizens. It will be continuing with these surprise inspections to constantly monitor government agencies/offices compliance with the provisions of R.A. 11032.