MAYOR Celso Lobregat has ordered Thursday the extension of work hours of offices involved in the business permit renewal in this southern port city to accommodate more clients.

Lobregat said that the working hours from Mondays to Fridays have been extended up to 8 p.m., instead of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Lobregat also ordered the employees to report from 8 a.m. to 12 noon and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. during Saturdays and Sundays.

The offices involved in the processing of business permits as well as renewal are the City Treasurer's Office, City Licensing Division, Tricycle Adjudication Board, the Computer Services Division, City Health Office and City Planning and Development Office among others.

Lobregat issued the order of extending the working hours to accommodate more businessmen, who have started flocking the City Hall since January 2 either to secure or renew business license permits.

More facilities such as additional assessment tables and chairs both at the ground floor and second floor of the City Hall building have been set up to ensure clients' convenience.

The City Government started accepting applications for renewal of business permits for the year 2010 last October. The application for business permit and renewal will end on January 20 as stipulated under the law.

For this year, Lobregat said the City Government expects to register over 8,000 business establishments.

License renewal applicants are advised to bring the original business permit of 2009 as basis for the renewal.

Lobregat has repeated his appeal to all local businessmen to process applications for new permits or renewal the earliest time possible to avoid the rush and the payment of penalties. Late filing would mean a 25 percent surcharge plus additional two percent for every month of delay. (Bong Garcia)