THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Philippine Business Registry (PBR) will launch next year the easiest means to register businesses -- through the internet.

PBR program manager Whilner Morales said Friday the PBR is an innovative online business portal that facilitates easier and time-saving business registration through the issuance of the Philippine Business Number (PBN) for each registered business entry.

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"What will happen is when you log on to PBR online with web address www.business.gov.ph, you would be given a PBN and you'll have an account online. It's as easy as checking your Facebook account wherein you'll be given a dashboard of your own and you would see the status of your business process," Morales said during last week's Kapihan sa PIA media forum.

"What you would see, by column, is your PBN; the agency you need to register your business and under this would be agencies such as Department of Trade and Industry, the Local Government Unit, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Social Security System, Pag-Ibig, PhilHealth; the Date Submitted; Date Updated; and the Status for each agency whether it's Complete or Incomplete. Since online na yung transaction aantayin mo na lang matapos into," Morales said.

Morales said the transactions are free of charges except for registering the business name at DTI, business registration at BIR and for the local government unit (LGU).

"For registering the business name and for the business registration online ang payment. It can be through credit card, ATM (automated teller machine), debit card, or G-cash. As to the LGU depende sa LGU. But with this kind of set up this would reduce the business registration process by up to half the average time of 50 days. Mababawasan ito as much as 26 days," Morales said.

"As we know the longer it takes to register your business mas maraming windows for red tape. The vision of PBR is an enhanced Philippine Business Environment through expeditious, simplified, and unified services," he said.

The PBR was approved in 2006 through Memorandum Order 228 that specifically mandates the streamlining of business registration-related procedures to reduce transaction costs and address flaws in the current system of registering companies to ensure Philippine competitiveness.

"The PBR started its existence late in 2006 and from there to 2008 we had a lot discussions and policy reform. These agencies have their own policies so we had a lot of talks and have them agree na certain processes should be adjusted and kung pa-pogi points rin lang naman eh tangalin na lang. We did reform and change of mindset and also get the agencies' support for this. In 2009, we developed the system, IT security, and setting up of the online payments," Morales said.

"What we're doing now is we're doing the preparations before the actual launching. We're getting the support from the LGU the Philippine Chamber of Commerce, League of Cities. By end of this year or by next year we hope to launch this service," he said.

The objectives of PBR is (1) to establish a fully-secured national business registry database which will integrate information from databases of relevant agencies; (2) to harmonize business registration by assigning a unique PBN to each registered business entity; (3) to facilitate transactions among agencies and business sector by providing a single window for online business registration.

The PBR is a secure and non-intrusive IT system that will be the primary repository of all relevant datasets required by government agencies involved in business registration and business facilitation and thereby, will allow data sharing between systems of government agencies and LGUs without modifying or replacing any of the existing computerized systems of the various agencies involved. Participating agencies and LGUs will be able to push and pull data from the central database to the extent required by the system, Morales said.

"Benefits and features of the PBR is that it's paperless. Paperless transactions among NGAs (national government agencies) and LGUs promote smooth-sailing business flow and eliminate the repetitive submission of similar information by business registrants. Through PBR, the cost of doing business will be significantly reduced, thereby giving entrepreneurs the chance to maximize their investments."

"One of PBR's features, the Business Profile Management System, will have Business Matching Module to provide clients with a ready source of business data that can be used for partnering with other local or global businesses. The PBR will serve as the mother of all databases related to business registration with accurate and reliable information from all business entities," Morales said.

Morales said the PBR is currently under testing in Caloocan city and its effectivity would be known by mid-September.