Updated rules on issuance of Baguio permits, clearances sought

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City officials urged all local government departments and offices to speed up the formulation or come up with their respective updated guidelines under the new normal in the issuance of clearances, permits, and similar documents made available to the public in compliance with the Ease of Doing business and the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA).

Under Resolution No. 651, series of 2020 that was signed by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, local legislators stated that easing the conduct of business activities with the government, particularly the access to public services, will certainly facilitate recovery initiatives of citizens thereby speeding the rate of a at which people adopt to the new normal and start being productive in their daily lives following the serious negative impact of the prevailing implementation of various community quarantine guidelines to their employment, economic activities and sources of livelihood.

The council said that the persistent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic reportedly altered the norms and regular processes of conducting business operations, including the delivery of government services to the people who are in need of the same primarily because of the strict implementation of the basic health and safety protocols such as the mandatory wearing of face masks and shields, the observance of physical distancing and the practice of personal hygiene.

Earlier, Memorandum Circular No. 2020-06, series of 2020 dated August 27, 2020 issued by the Anti-Red Tape Authority, Office of the President, addressed to all government offices, agencies, including local government units, state universities and colleges, government-owned and controlled corporations,, government financial institutions and government instrumentalities and institutions has set the guidelines in the issuance and reinstitution of permits and licenses under the new normal to ensure that the standards set for the same will be strictly followed.

As provided for under the general guidelines enshrined in the said memorandum among others, the government agency shall retain only such steps, procedures and requirements that are necessary to allow it to fulfil its legal mandate and the policy objectives of its enabling law; shall remove redundant and unduly burdensome processes, procedures and requirements; and shall adopt such processes or procedures and impose such requirements that are the least costly to the transacting public.

The council mandated the various departments and offices to post the aforesaid updated guidelines in conspicuous places and in plain view of the public within the premises of the same and be incorporated in their respective office citizens charter for the benefit of the transacting public.

One of the initiatives being undertaken by the local government to help in easing the burden from the people transacting businesses with the different local government departments and offices is for the online payment of taxes, processing of the renewal of business permits and the possible online application of the issuance of building permits and the application of the same.

By Dexter A. See