LGUs urged to ease registration restrictions

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    The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) urged local government units (LGUs) to ease some of the requirements for business registration saying some of these are unreasonable and can open opportunities for corruption.

    ARTA director-general Jeremiah Belgica in a text message to reporters said his office received complaints on the seemingly high assessment of business taxes in some LGUs which he reminded of current Bureau of Internal Revenue’s clear guidelines on the assessment of local business taxes to avoid whimsical, disproportionate, and unnecessary imposition of fees or taxes upon taxpayers.

    Belgica said ARTA has also called on LGUs to repeal ordinances requiring a Public Liability Insurance (or General Liability Policy Insurance) for the issuance of a business permit or renewal.

    “Securing such insurance is optional to businesses and mandatorily requiring it serves as an undue additional requirement, especially for micro-small-medium enterprises,” Belgica said.

    He added unnecessary and burdensome requirements open an opportunity for corruption where it becomes a “money making business for government officers with connivance to some private players.”

    He said ARTA will work with the Department of Interior and Local Government and will meet LGUs to officially discuss these matters.