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Quezon City is still the Most Competitive City in the Philippines

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For the third straight year, Quezon City bags again the Most Competitive City Award, at the 6th Regional Competitiveness Summit held on August 16, 2018, at the Philippine International Convention Center.

Quezon City also capped the Cities and Municipalities Competitive Index (CMCI) in the sub-indicators of Economic Dynamism and Infrastructure. These awards were contested by more than 1,500 local governments in the Philippines, as they competed with each other in terms of four key areas: economic dynamism, government efficiency, infrastructure, and resiliency.

The city is known to host more than 72,000 registered business establishments, the biggest number in any local government in the country. This has placed it in a position of becoming the benchmark for ease of doing business in the Philippines. As such, it has pushed itself to undertake a number of significant reforms, especially in the areas of new business registration and in the processes for applying for construction permits and occupancy permits.

Its latest reforms, put into operation in January 2018, was the opening of more comprehensive one stop shops, to address two areas by which businessmen can start their enterprises quickly in the city: registering their business and constructing their business location. These were made possible through executive orders issued by Mayor Herbert M. Bautista.

Quezon City's Business One Stop Shop features concierges who assist all new business applicants, from start to finish. The concierges bring the documents through all the steps of the evaluation process, while the applicant sits and waits.

Faster and more convenient service is made possible because the One Stop Shop houses in one location, the evaluators of the Business Permits and Licensing Office, the Zoning Administrator for the locational clearance, and the Bureau of Fire Protection for fire safety inspection.

Applications that are complete in terms of documentation and are for businesses in a zone-compliant location can be approved quickly within the same hour. The new processes reduce new registration requirements to two interactions with the local government: file and pay.

The key features of the Business One Stop Shop are:

• One location for all transactions, from application to payment;

• One-time assessment and collection of all business registration fees;

• The Tax Bill already includes the community tax and fire code fees of the Bureau of Fire Protection;

• The cashier is also in the one-stop shop

• Right after payment, the applicant immediately receives from the concierge, the business permit and business plate.

Mayor Bautista also took the risk of making the barangay clearances not a prior requirement of the city government for new business or building permit applications, in view of competitiveness officials' constant observations that this was one hurdle in doing business in localities, especially since the barangays had the power to set their own standards, processes, and fees for issuing clearances for their respective areas of coverage.

But the barangay clearance remains an integral part of the city's business registration process.

Business taxpayers of the city are also given 24/7 payment options through their mobile phone using Gcash, or through their ATM or debit cards using the LandBank/BancNet online portal.

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