Council approves 2-year validity of biz permits

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BUSINESS owners in Cebu City no longer have to go to City Hall every year to renew their business permits since the permits will now be valid for two years beginning January 2020.

The City Council approved on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, the amendments to the Omnibus Tax Ordinance of the City of Cebu. Section 7 of the ordinance now states that “business permits shall be valid for a period of not more than two years. Every business permit shall take effect from the date of issue and shall expire on the date specified therein but not beyond Dec. 31 of the following year.”

Some 30,000 business permit holders in the city stand to benefit from the amendments proposed by Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia.

Business owners, though, will still have to renew every year the different permits, certificates and clearances that are required for the issuance of a business permit, such as the sanitary permit, fire safety inspection certificate, barangay clearance, occupational permit and Cenro certificate.

They will also continue to pay for their business taxes annually, quarterly or monthly.

“Nothing in this ordinance shall change the tax liability of any person or business establishment. All taxes, fees and charges shall remain the same and shall fall due on the same period provided under existing laws and ordinances,” Section 2 of the ordinance states.

In an interview after the Council’s regular session on Wednesday, Garcia said the amendments had to be approved since the business permits are scheduled for renewal in January.

“The Business Permits (and Licensing Office) has been following up on this since they still have to prepare for January. This time, they will now be issuing business permits that are valid for two years,” he said.

Garcia, who chairs the committee on law and the committee on budget and finance, said the amended ordinance will be sent to the Office of the Mayor, which will come up with the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR).

The ordinance specifies that the validity of all other licenses or permits will be the same.

“All other licenses or permits shall be granted for a period of not more than one year. Every license or permit thus granted shall take effect from the date of issue and shall expire on the date specified therein but not beyond Dec. 31 of the year in which it is issued,” states Section 7 of the ordinance.

Garcia said the two-year validity of the business permit promotes ease of doing business and a business-friendly environment, which is the thrust of Mayor Edgardo Labella. (JJL)


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