Two words that could stop an investor or businessman dead on his tracks: delays and fixers. Sadly, these are the facts of life in government halls all over the country.
This is not the case in Cabuyao, Laguna where it takes only 30 minutes to process a business permit. And one waits in an air-conditioned room, sipping tea or drinking coffee or juice drinks while watching cable television.
A program created a “One-Stop-Shop” for processing business permits – the local government’s answer to an unwieldy system and poor tax collection.
Before the program was launched, it took an average of one to three days to secure a permit. The primary cause of the delay was the physical distance to one another of municipal government offices where requirements for the permits were to be obtained.
The system enriched “fixers” or individuals promising to spare applicants the hassle of processing the permit for an exorbitant fee.
The inefficiencies in the system resulted in poor collections by the local government. Realizing the problems, officials formed a committee to design the program, coordinated with different agencies involved like the Social Security System, and established the One-Stop-Shop.
Proof that clients were satisfied with the program results was the increase in the municipality’s tax collection by 149.5% in 2001 compared with the previous year. Cabuyao has been the top tax collector in Laguna for the last two years.
This program is recognized as a Trailblazing Program, a finalist for the 2002 Galing Pook Awards.