EVEN though business permits in Cebu City will now be valid for two years instead of one starting in January 2020, the City Government’s revenues will not be affected.
Jared Limquiaco, business permits and licensing office (BPLO) officer-in-charge, said they will make sure the city’s around 30,000 business establishments will not take advantage of the amended City Omnibus Tax ordinance.
He said they will have regular monitoring to ensure that all business permit holders pay the necessary fees and tax dues annually, quarterly and monthly.
He said business owners can directly pay for the renewal of business permits while they go about complying with other requirements. The BPLO will also accept receipts as proof of their compliance.
Limquiaco said the only difference now is that business owners do not have to “process the whole thing for renewal” all at once.
City Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia, author of the amended ordinance, said business owners have the whole year to comply with requirements unlike in the past when they had to rush to comply with requirements.
“They have the whole year to get the other permits in preparation for the next two years,” he said. “If they don’t pay, we will run after them.”
Mayor Edgardo Labella is confident the City’s tax collection will not drop as a result of the business permit’s two-year validity.
Since he assumed power, Labella has been promoting ease of doing business and a business-friendly administration.
Next year, the Cebu Business Concierge, a joint undertaking of the City Government and the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), will be launched.
The program, which aims to attract more investors to the city, will also include a training program for unemployed residents in the 80 barangays.
Labella said he expects another amendment to the City’s tax ordinance where business owners can pay their taxes at accredited banks.
Labella said the City is heeding President Duterte’s call to make it easier for the public to transact with the government.
Meanwhile, the CCCI wants other local government units (LGUs) to replicate the two-year validity of business permits.
“We are hopeful that this ordinance will be followed by other LGUs within Cebu Province for our other member-companies to likewise enjoy,” CCCI president Virgilio Espeleta told SunStar Cebu.
“A two-year validity relieves business owners from the annual hassle to line up every January for business renewal,” he said. “However this requires businessmen to be compliant with the requirements while the permit is in effect.”
The CCCI president also urged the City Government to spread the renewal for business permit throughout the year.
“We also long to see that renewal period can be spread throughout the year and across off-site locations when City Hall has fully digitized the renewal processing,” Espeleta said.
Businesses outside Cebu City will continue to renew their permits every year unless other LGUs pass a similar ordinance. (JJL, CSL)