■ CITY TO EASE PERMIT RED TAPE FOR BUSINESS FIRMS
Cebu City Mayor Tomas Omeña is looking at replacing the business permit with a certification from the Treasurer’’s Office, which would state that the business entity has paid its taxes as it initial requirement to commence business operations. Osmeña tells business owners that the City won’t run after them if they pay their business taxes. This is so because the City understands the long, arduous process of securing a business permit, which requires getting clearances from a number of government agencies, causing delay in the business operations.
Osmeña wants treasurer's office to issue tax payment certificates to establishments instead of a business permit so owners can immediately start their businesses.
Cebu City Mayor Osmeña plans to replace the business permit issued to establishments with a certificate from the City Treasurer’s Office stating that they have paid their taxes.
It will be an initial requirement in order for establishments to operate, considering the long process of obtaining the business permits.
In the present set-up, business owners are required to obtain clearances from several offices and agencies, which delays the start of their operation.
Osmeña told business owners that the City Government will not run after them as long as they pay taxes.
“We are not scrapping business permits. All we are saying is that the treasurer’s office will not run after you as long as you pay your taxes. You are not the priority,” said Osmeña.
“We cannot issue a business permit to you because you’ll have to produce all the other clearances. All we want you to do is to pay your taxes. So we’ll just give you a certificate (that states) ‘tax- es paid’ so that you can operate your business already,” he added.
But the mayor said that business owners may still face sanctions for their other violations.
Asked when the new policy will be implemented, Osmeña said he is yet to talk to the city treasurer, but added that it will be implemented immediately.
“We’re doing this so that people can do business right away. Our people in City Hall have to focus on their functions and the treasurer’s function is to raise money,” he said. /