By Riza Lozada
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) will speed up the streamlining of processes for the documentary requirements of micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) renewing business permits following the congressional approval and implementation of the first package of the tax reform law.
Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar Dulay said reducing the requirements to register or renew permits for businesses is now ongoing.
“After the (tax reform) package, we’ll go into that streamlining process, although it’s an ongoing work being done by BIR. Even the procedures, we will cut down on the documentary requirements,” Dulay said.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III recently told BIR officials that he has received complaints from MSME owners about the tedious process in renewing their BIR Certificates of Registration (CORs) in the bureau’s regional offices.
“Let’s cut down on the documentary requirements,” Dominguez told Dulay.
To renew a business permit, the applicant must first secure a barangay clearance and a mayor’s business permit renewal that requires several documents such as the original copy of the mayor’s permit for the previous year, proof of payment for the permit, income statements, contract of lease, among others, which could take about one to two weeks.
After obtaining these permits, the applicant can now head straight to the BIR to have the COR renewed with the payment of an annual registration fee for every separate or distinct establishment or place of business.
In a recent forum hosted by Mister Donut franchise holders, Dominguez said the government is instituting reforms to improve further the ease of doing business, such as setting up the online trading platform TradeNet to fully automate licensing, permit-issuing, clearance and certification systems; and the Inter-Agency Business Process Interoperability program that aims to simplify and harmonize import and export documentation.
The DOF on his watch has also formed an anti-red tape task force to cut redundant requirements and processes in the bureaucracy, Dominguez said.
In a separate forum, Dennis Reyes, the DOF’s technology modernization architect, said various Cabinet departments are also fine-tuning the establishment of the Philippine Business Data Bank (PBDB) down to the local government level.
The PBDB will involve the Department of Trade and Industry, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the country’s economic zones and over 1,600 local government units, Reyes said.
This Data Bank will allow the online processing of business permits by LGUs as part of the Duterte administration’s continuing initiatives to improve the ease of doing business in the country.
Dominguez said the growth of the MSME sector, which employ nine out of 10 Filipinos, is the key to achieving inclusive growth not only in the Philippines but also in ASEAN’s nine other member-countries.
He also assured MSMEs that the government is ready to provide funding support to gird them up for competition in the imminent common market for Southeast Asian economies.
Dominguez said state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank), which has offices across the country’s 81 provinces, has so far provided outstanding loans to MSMEs totaling P71 billion from last January to September.
Another state financial institution, the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has extended a total of P11.6 billion to MSMEs in the first 10 months of 2017 and has unveiled plans to increase the number of its account officers serving this sector by 25 percent to beef up its operations in 22 strategically located lending centers starting January 2018, Dominguez said.