ALMOST 15,000 business establishments in Bacolod City have applied for permits from January 3 to February 3, 2017, records of the City Permits and Licensing Division showed.

Of the total 14,985 firms, 13,913 are renewals and 1,072 are new business applicants.

Division head Stella Rose Rayos said that since the business permits processing has been extended until February 28, more applicants are still expected.

She said that business owners who will pay in full can still avail the 10 percent discount on their business fees.

Rayos said they have already issued a total of 5,053 business permits to applicants who have completed the requirements in only two to three days.

In 2016, the Permits and Licensing Division recorded a total of 25,774 issued business permit applications.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia’s Memorandum No. 234 directed the department heads to implement guidelines for processing of 2017 business permits under joint Memorandum Circular No. 01, Series of 2016 dated August 30, 2016 of the Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Trade and Industry, and Department of Information and Communication Technology.

“The one-stop-shop at the Bacolod Government Center (BGC) is a big help for business applicants in securing their clearances,” Rayos said.

She said she is thankful for the cooperation of various agencies and barangays which sent their representatives at BGC to accommodate the business permits.

Next month, Rayos said they will also deploy an inspection team to various areas to remind the business owners who have failed to renew their permits.