January 21, 2014, VALENZUELA CITY - Big names from the business sector, financial industries, foreign partner -agencies and national government units were gathered at the City Hall of Valenzuela, for the official unveiling of the 3S Plus Electronic Terminal, the country’s first fully automated building and construction permit application system.
The 3S Plus Electronic Terminal is a product of the enhanced 3S (Simple, Speed, and Service Excellence) platform which banked further on the element of technology, to insinuate that more ambitious and superior programs are yet to come, hence the “3S Plus.”
Mayor REX Gatchalian mentioned in one of his recent engagements that through this new system, the public is ensured that transactions with the city government are now handled with utmost professionalism and transparency.
According to Mayor REX, since the terminal’s inception last December 18, he has not received any permit-related complaints yet. “If there would be delays, we could easily track the logs as to whose hands the documents stopped,” he said.
The 3S Plus Electronic Terminal was installed at the 3rd floor of the Finance Building in Valenzuela City Hall. This is a well-planned mix of anti-graft and corruption technologies that includes (a) touch screen registration booths, (b) barcode system and scanner, (c) randomizer, (d) in-house fire marshal, (e) holistic evaluation reports, and (f) application status display screens. Now functioning altogether, the usual two-month application period for construction permits has drastically reduced to one or two days.
The touch screen registration booth is a self-service portal where permit applicants encode their project details. Barcodes on application boxes will then be scanned to transmit the encoded information to the system faster. Once the details are uploaded, a randomizer will automatically provide the names of inspectors and all other officers who will administer the necessary procedures to complete the evaluation.
At present, Valenzuela City is the only local government unit allowed by the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to have an in-house fire evaluator and inspector. This benefits the constituents in such a way that they no longer need to go out of the city hall just to obtain fire safety clearances.
The incorporation of holistic evaluation report in the service design also provides a better way to guide applicants who are subjected for further compliance. Mounted application status display screens are equally helpful in informing the individuals of the outcome of their transaction.
City Building Official Arch/EnP Edison Ching M. Padilla attributes the success of this endeavor to Mayor REX, who he describes as someone who has the “political will” to make a difference for the welfare of Valenzuelanos.
Earlier on the same event, the city government signed a memorandum of agreement with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and G-Xchange Inc. to implement a mobile money payment system through the Scaling Innovations in Mobile Money (SIMM) Project, a USAID-funded project that aims to increase the uptake and usage of mobile money (m-money) to help expand financial inclusion of more Filipinos.
Through this partnership, the SIMM Project was able to pioneer applications of mobile-based technology in Valenzuela City for real property tax assessment and collection.
The City Government of Valenzuela believes that this venture will not only boost tax collection, attract more investments, and make public services more accessible and convenient for its constituents, but will also reduce human interaction in government transactions, eliminating bureaucratic red tape and graft and corruption in the process.
Apart from m-money, debit and credit cards and online transactions are the cashless modes of tax payments accepted in Valenzuela City.
The official launching of 3S Plus platform is essentially Mayor REX’s meaningful way to celebrate his birthday. More programs will be rolled out soon in accordance with his agenda dubbed as, “The 5 Pillars of Good Governance,” which concentrates on (1) Job Generation, (2) Health and Social Services, (3) Housing, (4) Education, and (5) Trade and Industry.
Esteemed figures who graced the event were Valenzuela City First District Representative Cong. WIN Gatchalian, Philippine Chamber Development Institute Chairman Mr. Renato G. Simbulan, USAID Mission Director Ms. Gloria D. Steele, G-Xchange Inc. President Mr. Paolo Baltao, Development Bank of the Philippines Executive Vice President Mr. Anthony T. Robles, and Bureau of Fire Protection OIC Gen. Carlito Romero. The event was hosted by TV personality Ms. Angel Jacob.