ZAMBOANGA City Licensing Officer Benjie Barredo continues to appeal to owners and managers of local business establishments to process applications for renewal of permits and comply with the deadline.

Under the law, the Barredo said January 20 every year is the deadline set for renewal process and the payment of business taxes.

He said late payments will mean a surcharge of 25 percent and two percent additional penalty for every month of delay.

The licensing officer said the Business One Stop Shop (Boss), which brings together all involved offices to Centro Latino Convention Center ensuring efficiency and convenience for local business operators, went full blast starting January 3.

Operating hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and holiday.

Barredo said that as of Monday, January 9, his office has issued a total of 2,450 business permits while thousands others are under process.

Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar announced on Tuesday in her State of the City Address, Zamboanga City has registered a 12 percent increase in the collection of business taxes for the year 2016.

Salazar said such increase represents the amount of P37 million in business taxes collection from P304 million in 2015 to P341 million in 2016.

She said this came about as the local business establishments has grown to 12,324 in 2016 from 10,348 in 2015 with the opening of 1,976 new businesses, including some big players.

She added the opening of the close to 2,000 new business establishments translated to 8,042 new jobs. (Bong Garcia/Sunnex)