26 January 2021 –  The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth), Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG Fund, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and eighteen pilot Local Government Units (LGUs) will be launching the first phase of the Central Business Portal (CBP), an online one-stop shop for registering business in the Philippines, on Thursday, January 28.

The CBP (business.gov.ph) offers a single site for all business-related information and transactions such as securing business permits, licenses, and clearances. It had been on its soft-launch phase to targeted law and accounting firms since 28 August 2020 (Read also: CBP now on soft-launch phase, to be launched nationwide in November). Additional features had since been added for the nationwide launch of its Phase 1 on Thursday.

The creation of CBP through DICT is mandated by Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018. By mandate of a Joint Memorandum Circular among the abovementioned agencies, along with the Department of Finance, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Interior and Local Government, and the Cooperative Development Authority, ARTA will be overseeing the implementation of the CBP and will be providing support, facilitation, and assistance to the participating agencies throughout its development and implementation.

The implementation of the CBP is projected to improve the country’s performance in the Starting a Business indicator under the World Bank’s Doing Business Report. In the World Bank’s 2020 Report, the Philippines ranked 171st among 190 economies in the said indicator, which measures the number of procedures, time, cost, and paid-in minimum capital requirement for a small- to medium-sized limited liability company to start up and formally operate.

Through the CBP, business applicants can now register their business in just one step in less than a day, as compared to the previous manual process with 13 steps that could be completed in 33 days. Once the CBP is fully implemented, ARTA projects that our country’s ranking in the Starting a Business indicator could jump up to the 7th rank.

The CBP Phase 1 will allow for the registration of one person corporations, corporations with two to four incorporators, and regular corporations whose incorporators are juridical entities and/or the capital structure is not covered by the 25%-25% rule. The portal provides a Unified Application Form for all agencies involved in the business registration process, thus eliminating the undue burden on applicants of having to fill up redundant entry forms with different agencies.

Through the portal, applicants can now complete their business registration with SEC and BIR, generate BIR tax identification number, pay for BIR filing and registration fees, and register employer numbers for SSS, Philhealth, and Pag-IBIG. The CBP now also features a Unified Employee Reporting Module for SSS, Philhealth, and Pag-IBIG, and process applications for secondary license featuring FDA’s License to Operate (LTO) for Center for Drugs.

The integration of FDA’s LTO into the portal is also part of the implementation of ARTA’s National Effort for the Harmonization of Efficient Measures of Inter-related Agencies or NEHEMIA Program – Food and Pharmaceutical Sector. This move reduces the number of steps from 28 to nine, the number of requirements from 41 to 12, and the number of days from 63 to 21 in acquiring the LTO.

Further, the CBP now also links to the online business permitting system of the local government of Quezon City, Paranaque City, Ilagan City, Baler, Dipaculao, Limay, Macabebe, Paete, Santa Cruz in Marinduque, Labo, Santa Barbara in Iloilo, Mandaue City, Dumingag, Catarman, and Kabacan.

The online business permitting systems of other LGUs are also being targeted for integration in the portal in the future. Additional features will also thereafter be developed and incorporated in the CBP.

The nationwide launch of the CBP Phase 1 will be livestreamed at the official Facebook page of ARTA on January 28 at 9 am. 

[END].