BUSINESS owners in Mandaue City have six months to submit required Social Security System (SSS), Philhealth and Pag-Ibig documents to the City Treasurer’s Office.

The City Council adopted a resolution last Wednesday extending the March 20 deadline, which means business owners who did not meet the deadline will not have to pay the administrative penalty if they submit the requirements within six months.

Councilor Emmarie Ouano-Dizon, who sponsored the resolution, said she has received complaints about the requirements for the application and renewal of business permits at City Hall.

She said securing SSS, Philhealth and Pag-ibig documents, which are among the requirements, is time-consuming because of the long queues in these offices.

“While the business sector understands the necessity of these requirements, and agrees with the City to make the people’s welfare a priority, they are requesting some consideration with regards to the time frame,” Ouano-Dizon said in an e-mail.

Penalty

The deadline for the renewal of business permit was last Jan. 20. Those with missing clearances or requirements were granted a permit but were asked to pay an administrative penalty of up to P5,000.

“The extension shall give establishments additional time to prepare the required documents and to accommodate the influx of investors and growing business population of the city and most importantly to encourage legitimate and registered businesses,” read the resolution.

The City set up a “one-stop shop” at the City Sports and Cultural Complex for taxpayers for the annual renewal of business permits from Jan. 2 to 20.

The City Treasurer’s Office started imposing the maximum penalty of P5,000 last year, from P500 in previous years.

Downside

City Treasurer Regal Oliva said he is not against the extension, although it will mean less time for record-keeping.

He explained that under the law, business establishments should not be given a business permit if they failed to submit the necessary clearances.

But a memorandum of the Department of Interior and Local Government orders local government units to give businesses 60 days to submit the clearances after receiving their permit.

Oliva said his office collected P13 million in penalties this year, from P22 million last year. “This means that more establishments complied with the clearances,” he said.

He said establishments need to submit SSS, Philhealth and Pag-ibig clearances for the welfare of workers in the city.