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MAKATI CITY–On 10 November 2023, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual signed eight (8) Memoranda of Agreement (MOAs) with each of the Local Government Units (LGUs) of Baguio City; City of Balanga, Bataan; Bislig City; Butuan City; City of San Pedro, Laguna; Bacolod City; Carmona, Cavite; and Guiguinto, Bulacan at the Board of Investments building. The MOAs are aimed to facilitate the integration of the DTI’s Business Name Registration System (BNRS) to the respective online Business Permits and Licensing System (BPLS) of the respective LGUs. According to the trade and industry chief, the integration will realize the shared goal of the Department and the involved LGUs creating a more conducive business environment in the Philippines by further streamlining the registration process for business owners.
Secretary Pascual said, “Today, we come together to celebrate a significant milestone – the integration of DTI’s Business Name Registration System with the Online Business Permit and Licensing Systems of eight (8) Local Government Units (LGUs). This partnership through system integration demonstrates our strong commitment to simplifying our registration procedures and requirements for the benefit of Filipino entrepreneurs, particularly for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).”
In line with the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to steer the country toward digital transformation, the DTI has been working to reduce regulatory burdens by streamlining and digitalizing institutional and regulatory requirements and processes, specifically in starting a business in the Philippines.
As the first step in the business registration for a sole proprietorship, business owners need to register their business names with the DTI through the BNRS, one of the first online end-to-end registration systems in government. According to the Department, aspirin entrepreneurs can enjoy the convenience of having to transact with the DTI through their mobile phones in the comfort of their homes, or wherever they are, 24/7.
However, succeeding registrations with the LGUs (for Mayor’s/Business Permit) and other national government agencies or NGAs (for Secondary Permit/Licenses for special sectors) require the submission of the Certificate of Business Name Registration issued by DTI, which will then be validated to ensure its authenticity prior to processing the application for the needed permit/license. The Secretary asserted that this process should be practical and convenient for the applicant who wants to start a business.
He also added that since the eight partner LGUs mentioned have already automated their business permitting and licensing system for a more efficient business registration process as mandated by Republic Act No. 11932 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, a more practical and convenient functionality may be further implemented using the whole-of-government approach through data sharing. In particular, by integrating DTI’s BNRS with the LGU’s automated BPLS, the registered business name can be automatically validated, thereby eliminating the mandatory submission of the Certificate of Business Name Registration.
The DTI chief further stressed that the DTI has been committed to advancing the development of e-governance and encouraged not only LGUs but also NGAs to innovate or adopt solutions. He also highlighted that this program is implemented with the end-view of improving public service delivery to the business sector such as data sharing through system integration.
To date, Parañaque City and Quezon City are the first LGUs to have their online BPLS integrated with the DTI’s BNRS. Further, the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is the only NGA that has linked their system, particularly the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) with the BNRS to help promote the integrity and expedite the public bidding process.
The signing of MOA between each of the said agencies and the DTI has likewise allowed such integrations. Further, the agreements also assure that all the parties will treat the shared information with utmost confidentiality and will implement the necessary security measures as specified in the Data Privacy Act of 2012.
Highlighting the pivotal role of advancing a whole-of-government approach, Secretary Pascual added, “Again, we thank the presence of our LGUs today in supporting our goal of automation and digitalization. Let us continue seeking innovative solutions that will improve the efficiency of government services for the benefit of our business owners and entrepreneurs as we remain committed to promoting the ease of doing business. and taxpayers. Let’s work together to improve our business ecosystem as we pave the way for a Bagong Pilipinas!” END