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Competitiveness council wants all permit and license applications done online

As part of the initiative to reduce bureaucratic red tape in doing business, the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) on Wednesday revealed a move to make all applications for business permits and licenses done online.

"Our goal is to be able to file applications online anytime, anywhere. We want to see licenses and permits done online if we can," NCC private sector Co-Chairman Guillermo Luz said in his remarks during the 5th Annual Ease of Doing Business Summit in Manila.

"Start a revolution to move online. We have to push the government online," Luz emphasized.

Automating government processes should start with transactions that are usually encountered by businesses such as mayor's permits, construction permits, occupancy permits, Bureau of Internal Revenue or tax related documents, social agencies, fire safety inspection certificates, and import-export related documents, according to the NCC.

"I think we should start this by creating portals such as, for business, the, and for trade, the," Luz said.

The NCC co-chairman took note that the government will get independent technology entrepreneurs to make the government online portals.

For his part, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, who is also an NCC co-chairman, said the Department of Trade and Industry (DICT) is currently in talks with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and external providers to develop online portals for government transactions.

"We discussed it. For the government not to engage in huge spending is through outsourcing ... 'Yun 'yung monthly subscription ... Or we are paying fees depending on the number of bytes you will use," Lopez told reporters on the sidelines of the summit.

"Government is not necessarily developing the system. By doing that there won't be huge capital expenditures for the government," the Cabinet official added.

He said that automating government processes is part of DTI's aim to improve the Philippine ranking in the World Bank Doing Business report to 20th spot by 2020, a leapfrog from 99th place this year.

"We should see such improvements by year 2018 or 2019 more or less," Lopez said. — VDS, GMA News