The second batch of Investment Enabling Environment (INVEST) project delegates from Iloilo City recently paid a visit to the City Government of Valenzuela, particularly the Business Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO), City Treasurer’s Office (CTO), and Information Technology Office (ITO), to learn solutions in streamlining business permits acquisition and automation of business registration processes.
INVEST project is a two-year initiative by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) that aims to assist the Philippine Government to lower the transaction costs of doing business, particularly those in securing business permits and licenses, and capacitate local government units (LGUs) in promoting investments.
Iloilo City, together with the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Batangas, are recipient-LGUs for the implementation of the USAID INVEST project. They are being brought to different model cities around the country for study tours aimed at enhancing their competitiveness.
Mayor REX Gatchalian shared in an interview that he is flattered that a multi-awarded LGUs view Valenzuela City as a credible information source for their investment platforms. He added, “I am interested to forge stronger ties with Iloilo City for I am certain that our exchange of best practices could mutually impact us positively, especially in terms of deriving opportunities for our people that could pull up our economic growth.”
Iloilo City is a Galing Pook Awardee in 2012 for Community Participation and Collaborative Governance through the Dinagyang Festival. Its first INVEST-oriented visit in Valenzuela City was last June 8, 2012, to benchmark on BPLS streamlining best practices.
The visitors were toured around the city hall complex and were presented with audio-visual presentations from host offices. Majority of the questions during the open forum were about BPLO’s post audit scheme, which is part of Valenzuela City’s 3S (Simple, Speed, Service Excellence) program, the city’s anti-graft and corruption platform to guarantee transparency and good governance. Through this, the processes for application of business permits were reduced from the 10 tedious steps to 3 simple and easy steps, allowing a business owner to get license in 20 minutes or less.
The Iloilo City delegation was composed of Local Economic and Investment Promotion Officer (LEIPO), Mr. Francis Cruz, City Treasurer, Ms. Catherine Tingson, INVEST City Program Adviser, Ms. Deanna Lijauco, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) officials, and other government staff.