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DICT boosts e-governance, e-services to improve PH’s ease of doing business

To improve ease of doing business in the Philippines, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is committed to strengthening its e-governance and e-services initiatives that cater to the local business sector.

In the Doing Business 2020 report by the World Bank, the Philippines climbed to the 95th spot with 62.8 points from its 124th spot with 57.68 points in 2019. The 2021 report by the World Bank is expected to be released in the coming months.

In 2020, the DICT started developing and piloted the Central Business Portal (CBP) which streamlines business registration processes in the country. The first phase of the CBP was formally launched in January this year and covers 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.

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“Your DICT, in partnership with other key agencies, continues to do its best to develop and implement programs and initiatives towards achieving true ease of doing business in the country and to provide better e-services to the Filipino people,” DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan said.

Central Business Portal

In a recent statement, the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) is optimistic of a much-improved score for the EODB Survey this 2021 with the implementation of various reforms aimed at streamlining and speeding up government processes.

Current features of the CBP allow business applicants to access the portal to apply for a certificate of registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), as well as for secondary licenses under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s license to operate for pharmaceutical companies.

Social Security System, Pag-IBIG, and PhilHealth employer numbers for registrants are also generated in the system.

The DICT continues the development of the CBP, which is being done in phases. Phase 1 is dedicated to the process for Starting a Business. Meanwhile, Phase 2 will focus on Renewal, Amendment and Changes. And lastly, Phase 3 will cover other business-related transactions and the possible improvements to the mobility of the CBP through the development of a web or mobile application.

Electronic business permits

The DICT also continues to implement the Electronic Business Permits and Licensing System (eBPLS) and Integrated Business Permits and Licensing System (iBPLS) which streamline the processing and issuance of various permits, certificates and licenses in cities and municipalities.

The DICT envisions an end-to-end permitting system as soon as integrates the BPLS of local government units with the CBP.

In addition, the Philippine Business Databank or PBD, which allows users to verify and validate businesses in the Philippines, and search for other business-related information, is under development.

“All these initiatives are in accordance with Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Services Delivery Act of 2018 and with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s directive for your DICT to connect the government to its people,” Secretary Honasan explained.

The DICT likewise expressed its support to the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) in its appeal to the World Bank to “revisit and amend its methodology for EODB survey to ensure selection of appropriate respondents for a study that is more reflective of the Doing Business situation not only in our country but also in other economies.”