Press Release
February 17, 2018

Zubiri promises ratification by Congress next week and signing by the President before Congress adjourns in March

"We are anticipating that the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act bill will be ratified next week and signed by the President before Congress adjourns," said Senator Juan Miguel F. Zubiri, chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.

"The speed of the Bicam meeting mirrors the speed of government transactions once the EARTA/ EODB is enacted. The element of time is crucial because we have found that delays were not just because of antiquated systems but often intentional to commit graft and corruption. Kahit nauna kang nagpasa ng mga dokumento o nag-apply, ipinaiilalim lang ang iyong papeles, at ikaw ay kokotongan. Naghahabol tayo sanapakaraming mga taong kailangang pumirma sa mga application sa lisensya at business permits. Halos mawalan ka nang ganang magsimulang magnegosyo. Maraming investors ang sumusuko at lumilipat nalang sa ibangbansa. Complicated ang status ng ating mga procedures bukod sa napakabagal. In everything, time is gold, time is money. No one wants to lose money, so many would rather locate their businesses in countries where processes are fast and simple.

1. Lessened processing time:

  • simple request/application from five (5) to three (3) working days;

  • complex transactions from ten (10) to seven (7) working days; and

  • highly technical application to twenty (20) working days

2. Provided automatic approval of permits and licenses in case the LGU/NGA fails to approve/disapprove the application within the processing time, except for cases that pose danger to public health, public safety, public morals or to public policy, and for highly technical application such as natural resource extraction activities.

3. Streamlined procedures for the issuance of local business permits:

a. Use of single or unified business application for local tax and clearances, building clearances, fire safety inspection certificates, etc.; which shall also be available online;

b. Creation of one-stop business facilitation service ( also referred to as business one-stop shop) on site and/or on-line in all cities and municipalities;

c. Mandating all LGUs to automate their business permitting and licensing systems with the help of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT);

d. Local clearances such as sanitary permits, environmental and agricultural clearances shall be issued together with the business permit;

e. Business permits shall be valid for a period of one (1) year, and may be renewed within first month of the year or anniversary date of the issuance of permit;

f. Barangay clearances shall be applied, issued and collected at the city/municipality; collection shall be remitted to the respective barangays.

4. Streamlined procedures for securing the Fire Safety Inspection Certificate (FSIC):

a. Limited processing time to seven (7) working days;

b. Disallowed Bureau of Fire (BFP) personnel from selling or recommending any brand of fire extinguishers or equipment.

5. Increased the penalties:

a. For light offense:

i. First Offense - six (6) months suspension without pay

ii. Second Offense - one 91) year to six (6) years imprisonment, dismissal and perpetual disqualification from the public service, and forfeiture of retirement benefits.

b. For grave offense - dismissal and perpetual disqualification from public service, and forfeiture of retirement benefits.

6. For Criminal Liability - dismissal and perpetual disqualification from public service, and forfeiture of retirement benefits; and one 91) to (6) six years imprisonment and a fine of not less than five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) but not more than two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00).

"All sectors from the smallest consumers, residents, small entrepreneurs up to big-time investors will soon enjoy faster transactions with government offices. And, Filipino citizens will notice that government moves faster, not only related to business transactions but to access services," Zubiri explained.

Senator Zubiri led the Senate while Rep. Ferjenel G. Biron M.D. led the House panel in the only Bicameral Conference Committee Meeting on the disagreeing provisions of Senate Bill. No. 1311 and House Bill No. 66579 (Expanded Anti-Red Tape Act/Ease of Doing Business).

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