Politics

Measure creating LGU business permit officer position hurdles House panel

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THE House committee on local government has approved a bill that proposes to create the position of business permit licensing officer, its chairman said.

“By institutionalizing the position of the business permit and licensing officer (BPLO), we are also creating efficiency in local government in the delivery of frontline services, like the issuance of business permits and licenses,” Valenzuela Rep. Rexlon T. Gatchalian, the committee chairman, said in a statement on Wednesday.

The still unnumbered substitute bill approved on Tuesday also tasks the BPLO with assessing business taxes, fees, and charges. It shall also conduct tax mappings and regular inspections of all business establishments within the municipality or city.

Mr. Gatchalian, author of the original BPLO bill, added that the measure will help reduce red tape and accelerate local government transactions, resulting in a “more vibrant and thriving economic atmosphere conducive to growth.”

All business owners must secure business permits from their LGUs to be able to operate within the jurisdiction.

The Anti-Red Tape Authority has received 11,279 complaints alleging violations of Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, it was reported in July.

The approved substitute bill also included the creation of a human resource management officer (HRMO) position at city and provincial government levels.

Margarita Ignacia B. Nograles, PBA Party-list representatives and author of the previous version of the HRMO bill, said that human resource responsibilities are currently handled by the local chief executive, resulting in “highly politicized” personnel decisions.

HRMOs will handle recruitment and selection, career development, performance management, welfare, rewards and incentives, appointment rules, and leave benefits.

The HRMO appointment will lie with the chair of the Civil Service Commission from a shortlist of at least candidates recommended by the governor or city mayor.

Mr. Gatchalian said that under the Local Government Code, the rank and salary of a BPLO and HRMO will be similar to a department head.

“We have to provide them with the proper remuneration commensurate to their management positions. This will also ensure that we can get the best people for the job,” he said. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz