CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- “This year, we focused on energizing economic development through ease of doing business while carrying out health and safety-related initiatives to address the Covid-19 challenges.”
This was the statement of Mayor Edwin Santiago on Tuesday, October 12, as the local government of San Fernando is competing anew with other cities in the country for the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Most Business-Friendly Local Government Unit (LGU) award.
During the 2021 LGU Awards National Selection Committee virtual final judging on October 12 here, Santiago bared the initiatives and accomplishments of the City Government in restoring, sustaining and increasing the business operations in San Fernando.
The City Government, since 2017, has been strengthening its online Business Permit Application System to expedite and make business-related transactions with the City Government more efficient and seamless.
In November 2020, the city integrated into the system the Barangay Business Clearance for Business Permit and Locational Clearance for Construction Permit, online payment and the unification of Barangay Tax Code of the City. It has also deployed electronic queuing systems in various City Government offices to streamline public transactions.
San Fernando also showed its resiliency and efficiency in addressing emergency crises as manifested by its significant and innovative policies, programs, and actions vis-à-vis the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Apart from our ‘Test. Isolate. Find. Treat’ program, other health and safety-related initiatives carried out by the LGU includes the establishment of triage centers, establishment of city and barangay isolation facilities, creation and implementation of the Infection Control Policy and Program and ramping up vaccination rollout, among others,” Santiago said.
In June 2021, the City Government has also adopted the Implementing Guidelines of the Safety Seal Certification Program, which aims for the compliance of business establishments with the minimum public health standards and eventually boost their consumer’s confidence.
These efficient and effective efforts of the LGU resulted in 1,488 new business registration and 9,905 business renewals in 2020. Business entities here were further given support as the Sangguniang Panlungsod headed by Vice Mayor Jimmy Lazatin created and approved numerous ordinances and resolutions on tax amnesty and extension of deadlines for the payment of different taxes.
Meanwhile, the City Government allotted funds to help micro and nano enterprises in the city which already ballooned to 11,393 in 2020.
Through the City Investment Promotion Office and its partner government and private agencies, the City provided skills training, livelihood, and recovery projects, such as Wage Subsidy Program, Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay, Business Continuity Planning Seminars, Trade Fairs, Establishment of an online Marketing Platform-Kabalen Ph, Kalinga sa Kutsero at Kabayo Program and Economic Recovery Assistance to Lantern Makers.
“We see economic recovery equal to health. That is why we continue to find better ways to level up our healthcare system. When everyone is safe, well and healthy, they can go back to work, they can go back to business, and the city’s economy can go back to its healthy state again,” Santiago said.
For this year’s MBF, PCCI will make the formal announcement and conferment of awards on November 18-21, 2021, during the 47th Philippine Business Conference.