VALENZUELA City 1st District Representative Rex Gatchalian on Wednesday cited the crucial role of business permit and licensing officers in municipalities and cities after the House Committee on Local Government approved their inclusion as mandatory positions common to all local government units (LGUs).
“By institutionalizing the position of the BPLO officer, we are also creating efficiency in local government in the delivery of frontline services, like the issuance of business permits and licenses, as well as ensures and promotes ease of doing business,” the chair of the House Committee on Local Government said.
Gatchalian, who authored House Bill (HB) No. 3831 and which was consolidated in the substitute bill that his panel approved Tuesday, added that the appointment of a BPLO officer will subsequently “institutionalize the Business Permit and Licensing Office as a revenue-generating office that will further capacitate LGUs.”
Under the HB 3831 provisions that were consolidated into the approved substitute bill, the BPLO officer shall take the lead in processing business permits, licenses, and occupational permits, including the assessment of business taxes, fees and charges of the various businesses in the municipality or city.
The BPLO officer shall also lead in the formulation of policies as a proactive measure to draw local and foreign investments, as a tool to define the development thrust of the city or municipality; and initiate, review and recommend to the mayor revenue-generating measures to increase local revenues, among others.
Thus, Gatchalian said, there will now be an intensified effort from both national and local governments to reduce red tape and expedite business and non-business transactions in government, resulting in a “more vibrant and thriving economic atmosphere conducive to growth and confidence.”
“The growth at every level of government shall ultimately translate into an increase in decent employment opportunities for all, and efficient delivery of government services which will benefit the nation as a whole,” Gatchalian said.
The substitute bill also seeks to create the mandatory position of a human management resource officer (HRMO) in all municipalities, cities, and provinces.
PBA Party-list Rep. Margarita Ignacia Nograles, who authored HB 4296, said the absence of the Human Resource Management Officer (HRMO) has resulted in a highly politicized situation, wherein at present, the accountability for human resources is lodged in the local chief executive.
“This bill seeks to reform the inadequacy. This measure is also being endorsed by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) in recognition of the urgent need for HRMOs in LGUs,” she said.
Under the proposed measure, the HRMO shall be responsible for the formulation of a resource development plan that will enhance personal management processes in the local government; institutionalize central records of personnel development documents; and conduct continuing human resource development programs and other capacity building interventions to enhance the competency of officials and employees.
The officers shall also be mandated to monitor and evaluate the implementation of performance management systems in the LGU and ensure that the Civil Service law is properly executed.
Gatchalian said the BPLO officer and the HRMO should carry the rank and salary of a Department Head provided under the Local Government Code.
“We have to provide them with the proper remunerations commensurate to their management positions. This will also ensure that we can get the best people for the job,” Gatchalian said.
Besides Gatchalian and Nograles, the main authors of the proposed measure are Reps. Ruth Mariano-Hernandez (Laguna 2nd Dist.), Manuel Sagarbarria (Negros Oriental 2nd Dist.), Wowo Fortes, Gus Tambunting (Parañaque City 2nd Dist.), Richard Kho (Masbate 1st Dist.), and Olga Kho (Masbate 2nd Dist.)
All those present in the committee hearing were later made co-authors of the measure.