June 24, 2024

The city government on said it is now in the final stages of correcting flaws found by the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) in the systems and procedures of its government services.

“We are now conducting a series of orientations to barangay officials while we are integrating the existing systems of payments to the national portal ebpls.baguio.gov.ph,” said Alan Abayao, supervising officer of the Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO).

Abayao said the online application system was set up in compliance with Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, especially after the ARTA found seven functionalities of its Electronic Business One-Stop-Shop (eBOSS) that the city government are not complying with.

The ARTA said the city government failed in seven eBOSS funcitionalities: the online appointment system; online submission of applications using the Unified Application Form; online uploading of required documents; issuance of electronic versions of permits, licenses, or clearances that may be printed and has the same level of authority as the hard copy; online payment using online payment facilities and other online payment gateways; gateway facilities linked with courier service providers which allow physical delivery of permits, licenses or clearance; and a customer support system to receive and address concerns regarding the eBOSS system that are technical.

The local government complied with two eBOSS functionalities: electronic issuance of the tax bill/order of payment; and, the online complaints and feedback mechanism related to business permitting without requiring a fee.

Aileen Refuerzo, chief information officer of Baguio City, said under RA 11032, local government units are required to act on business permit applications within three days from the time an application was entered into the online portal.

“This is a requirement under the Ease of Doing Business Law kaya patuloy ang city sa pag-computerize ng systems para hindi mahirapan ang business owners sa transaction nila sa city,” Refuerzo said.

During the height of the Covid-19, she said several business owners and real property owners were asking if they can pay their dues through banks or process their documents online due to quarantine restrictions.

This prevented some, especially business owners who were out-of-town, from paying their dues or renewing permits, which could have been added to the coffers of the local government. She assured the city government is doing its best to improve its system, not only because it is required by law but because the government wants to provide good and convenient service to its clients. – PNA