The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Tuesday said business name registration of online businesses has surged to more than 75,000 as of early September from a measly 1,700 before the start of lockdowns mid-March.
In a statement, the DTI said online business registrants ballooned to 75,876 as of September 2 from 1,753 in January to March 15 —before the beginning of the community quarantines.
“The silver lining in COVID-19 is the accelerated adoption of e-commerce. Hence, the DTI is also increasing our efforts to promote e-commerce by building trust between consumers and merchants, and focusing on the digitalization of our micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs),” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.
Lopez further explained that the DTI saw a drastic increase during the lockdown period, when business name applications reached 9,692 in May, and further peaked in June when over 33,000 business names were registered.
Meanwhile, based on latest data released by the DTI’s Business Name Registration Division (BNRD), the total number of business names registered in the agency as of September 2 reached 712,657, up 12% from the total business names registered for the entire 2019 recorded at 637,690.
“We are pleased to know that our citizens are starting their businesses right by registering their business with appropriate government agencies, such as the DTI,” Lopez said.
“I think the end to end registration system is the reason for the increase. With the online business name registration system (BNRS), I believe that our entrepreneurs find it easier to comply as they can finish the entire registration process within eight minutes. This platform is readily available to the public in the comfort of their own homes,” he said.
The Trade chief said the migration of business registration to the digital platform was part of the government’s ultimate push for ease of doing business.
In 2018, reforms to make business name (BN) registration easier and more convenient were introduced with the issuance of DTI Department Administrative Order (DAO) 18-07 on the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of 2018 of Act 3883.
The following year, the BNRS “Next Gen” was launched allowing the end-to-end online registration of BNs.
Apart from the increase in the number of total businesses registered, the DTI said there was a surge in people transacting payments online.
“DTI is closely working with fellow government agencies and the private sector to address speed, security and structure. We shall comply with the Presidents directive during the SONA to work with Congress and address the needs of the consumers while promoting the growth of e-Commerce in the country,” Lopez said.
“Our focus is to increase market access through digitalization and logistics integration,” he said.
Lopez also reiterated the importance of the Internet Transactions Act, which he noted would “support the government’s role of enabling business and protecting consumers.” — RSJ, GMA News