25 January 2023 – Mandaue City’s Business Processing and Licensing Office (BPLO) has credited the issuances led by the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), together with the key agencies—Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT), in the streamlining of their business permits processing.

In a presentation during the 5th National Convention of the National Association of Business Permit and Licensing Offices (NABPLO) last 24 November 2022, Mandaue City’s BPLO chief Atty. August Lizer Malate stated that the simplified process increased business confidence, resulting in more business registrations in 2022. It increased to 18,394 in 2022 from 17,576 in 2021.

As a result, Mandaue City’s business tax collection rose to Php 1.2 billion in 2022, an increase of Php 100 million from Php 1.1 billion in 2021.

“It is important in policymaking to have proper guidance in term[s] of the provisions that are allowed by law. Now, in that aspect, the issuances, the Memorandum Circulars, and the guidelines of the ARTA really helped us a lot in streamlining Mandaue City’s electronic Business Processing and Licensing System (eBPLS),” Atty. Malate stated in an interview after the event.

Atty. Malate cited, in particular, Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 1, s. 2021 by ARTA, DILG, and DICT titled, “Guidelines for Processing Business Permits, Related Clearances and Licenses in all Cities and Municipalities”. The JMC paved for the creation of the BPLS Operations Manual, which is a comprehensive guideline for LGUs in complying with the standards and policies for their business permit and licensing system.

On 25 August 2020, Mandaue City BPLO earlier adopted the electronic Business Permit and Licensing System (eBPLS) developed by the DICT, in accordance with the automation requirements of Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018. It is a free alternative option provided by the government for local government units (LGUs) that have not yet developed and implemented their own electronic Business One-Stop Shops (eBOSS).

Recently, eBPLS was expanded to the Integrated Business Permits and Licensing System (iBPLS) to facilitate and cater for a more efficient business permit registration process.

“In fact, it’s [JMC No. 1, s. 2021 and the BPLS Operations Manual] like a Bible in a way, because we have to look at it from time to time. For two purposes, number one is to ensure compliance. Number two, because we know that ARTA’s systems and ARTA’s guidance are based from the best practices from different LGUs,” Atty. Malate said.

“We know that aside from being a regulatory office, the purpose of ARTA is really for the improvement and for the efficiency in ease of doing business and government services in the Philippines,” he added.

Mandaue City was recognized as most-business friendly LGU by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) on October 2022. They are also an awardee for Government Best Practice Recognition by the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) on December 2022.