By Tiziana Celine Piatos, January 24, 2024; Daily Tribune

Revenues from local business taxes and fees increased in 2022 as more local government units switched to online business registration and payments, the Department of Interior and Local Government said.

In a Palace briefing on Wednesday, Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. said the reforms on the Ease of Doing Business caused the local business tax collection to increase to P208 billion in 2022 from P50 billion in 2018.

“That is times four. So, it is a big thing that you simplify the process and go into (digitalization),” Abalos said.

He added that the number of registered businesses also increased to 4.7 million in 2022 from 1.3 million in 2018, thanks to a more streamlined business registration process and more business one-stop shops.

Abalos mentioned that 92 percent of all local government units in the country have successfully set up their own business one-stop shops.

“The target for this year is probably another 240 (LGUs) until we finish,” Abalos said.

“What is also important is capacity building because even if you provide this, if they don’t have the hardware, it will go to waste,” he added.

On the other hand, Abalos said that 60 percent, or 921 out of the 1,634 cities and municipalities across the country, have adopted an electronic system for processing business permits and licenses as of December 2023.

“Out of the 921, 122 LGUs have their system, meaning they have their own application. Meanwhile, 799 LGUs utilized the system provided by the Department of Information and Communications Technology, which is free. This was extensively promoted; the DICT conducted caravans for this. I would like to express my gratitude to the DICT for their efforts,” Abalos said.

The ongoing initiative by the DILG and the DICT encourages LGUs to make use of the E-Local Government Unit system. This system enables the public to access various services, including business permit licensing, notice of violations, notification system, community tax, health certificates, local civil registry, business tax, and real property tax.

The eLGU serves as a crucial component of the DICT’s eGov PH Super App. This mobile application consolidates multi-sectoral government services into a unified platform. It encompasses a broad spectrum of local government services, such as business permit licensing, community tax, local civil registry, and more.