Once again, Valenzuela City hosted Cagayan de Oro City’s (CDO) study tour for the on-going Investment Enabling Environment (INVEST) project of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on September 25, 2013, aimed at improving the business enabling environment and the competitiveness of Philippine cities to attract investments.
Newly-elected Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno, who is also the current Chairman of the League of Cities (LCP), primarily intended to observe the streamlined Business Permits and Licensing System (BPLS) of Valenzuela City for processing new business permits and renewals and the role of automation in making these processes efficient.
Valenzuela City first accommodated CDO in September, 2012, when USAID sponsored its initial study tour, together with the cities of Batangas and Iloilo, which are the local government unit (LGU)-recipients of INVEST Project. The delegation then was consisted of the LGUs’ chief executives and finance committee officers.
Mayor Moreno remarked during his speech, “(When I was touring the city hall), I thought that I was in a multinational office. The magic in Valenzuela is a tough act to follow.” He promised to be Valenzuela City’s ambassador back home, for he was impressed of the locality’s trademark of “quality and excellence.”
Valenzuela City Mayor REX Gatchalian attributed the showcased best practices on BPLS programs to former mayor, now Valenzuela City 1st District Representative, Congressman Sherwin T. Gatchalian.
With the drive to further raise the bar set by the former chief executive, Mayor REX invited CDO to revisit Valenzuela City after a certain period. “Everything that you have witnessed today is the result of Congressman WIN’s hard work for nine years. Please do come back here after a couple of months, and by that time, everything that you would see shall be the product of my administration,” Mayor REX promised.
Valenzuela City has become a favorite study tour destination for several government units and agencies in the country due to its illustrious citations, such as its recent accolade, the Galing Pook Awards in 2012 for the implementation of the 3S (Simple Speed Service) in Public Service Program. This 3S Program is the basis of INVEST for its study tour initiatives and sponsorships.
Aside from the BPLS system, the delegates also inquired about the presently employed solutions by the City Government of Valenzuela in terms of addressing issues related to the grant of barangay clearances and inspections, which are part of the business permitting process.
A discussion avenue was also created to share experiences in managing the business one-stop shop (BOSS) during the renewal period, and the city’s automation processes for real property tax collection.
CDO is the first LGU to be showcased of Valenzuela City’s newest payment innovation for settling business license fees, real property tax, and engineering permits. Now, Valenzuelano taxpayers experience the convenience of cashless payments through credit cards and debit cards powered by Visa. Soon, online payment for real property tax will be available too.
1st District Representative, Congressman WIN Gatchalian expressed his warm esteem to the visitors, “It is humbling that CDO came over to observe Valenzuela City’s system, when in fact there are more things that we can learn from them in view of Mayor Moreno’s length of experience in public service.”
The CDO mayor expressed his intent to forge sisterhood agreement with Valenzuela City to strengthen the alliance of both localities.
Members of the city council who graced the occasion were District 1 Councilors Marlon Alejandrino, Rovin Feliciano and Marcelino Morelos, and District 2 Councilor Charee Pineda.
The members of Valenzuela City’s management team who were presenters during the study tour were BPLO Head, Atty. Renchi Padayao, in-charge of office (ICO)-City Treasurer, Adelia E. Soriano, and City Information Technology Office Head, Mr. Randy Sison. Valenzuela City Administrator Atty. Alan Roullo Yap also joined the event.