Press Release
August 10, 2016

Zubiri to cut red tape in setting up businesses, amend the Consumer Code & liberalize further Cabotage Law

Committee on trade, commerce and entrepreneurship Chairperson Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri asks DTI to seriously reduce red tape in setting up & operating businesses.

Zubiri said he found that one-stop-shops are mostly one-stop in name only. "What we get from the one-stop-shop is a really long list of requirements. We have to radically cut the steps and signatures required by asking all the other departments to give up some steps and coordinate with each other more."

Zubiri illustrated that it takes around six months in preparatory steps to secure a title to a piece of land bought in the rural areas. Clearances are required from the Departments of Agrarian Reform, of Environments & Natural Resources, of Agriculture, the National Commission of Indigenous Peoples. Then, verify with the Land Management Bureau-DENR. The Land Registration Authority is at the end of the line after which it issues the land title. Then you pay taxes to the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

"It's almost two years and we still have yet to receive the lot title. Imagine if one can go to an office and transact for all of those requirements in one place." Zubiri recalled his experience and recognized that interconnectivity of the government agencies would help greatly.

Zubiri challenged the DTI to make good on their pledge to reduce 200 signatures needed to set up a business such as a power plant. "We will support the DTI as it persuades other government agencies to reduce waiting times from 8 days to 3 days, and from 3 days to shorter than a day."

"I will also look at ease of doing business for the fisheries processing industry. Our fishing industry in Gen San and Zamboanga are losing out to fisheries processing in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea because we don't support our own fish processors."

"I will also look at the Livestock Development Bill taking shape with the DA experts."

"The Cabotage Law needs further amendments to help producers ship their products. We also need to open up the shipping industry. Apparently, the ship owners want the farmers & other shippers to first transact with the ship owners' trading offices before you can load your cargo. Otherwise, your crops like corn and bananas will wait at the port for up to six days. They will likely spoil and you waste crops and lose money."

Likewise, Zubiri said he will take up the unfinished legislative business of Sen. BAM Aquino who will turnover the committee work, which Aquino used to head, on the amendments to the Consumer Code.

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