Against the challenge of economic advancement, Gov. Edgar Chatto would want all local government units (LGUs) to stay business-friendly while improving their governance.
When the government stirs the condition for investments to thrive, it paves the way for optimum development, the governor said.
The marching of the governor came amid reports that some town mayors are reportedly giving new business establishments difficulties in acquiring the Mayor’s Permit with indication of some “tong” collection practiced by some of their departments. In fact, a confirmed report reaching the Chronicle that one coastal town is noted to have asked big-time business players to personally see first the town mayor before they be issued the Mayor’s Permit.
Reacting to this, Gov. Chatto asked the public to expose these erring town executives through the media.
In an executive order he signed at the Partners’ Forum at the Bohol Tropics on Friday, Chatto enjoined the local chief executives to “continue maintaining and ensuring business-friendly” LGUs.
The foremost challenge now is how to keep Bohol on top, the governor said as he shared to other development stakeholders the “Most Business-Friendly Province” Award.
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) gave Bohol the award in grand recognition of the province’s successful initiatives for a business-conducive environment.
LGUs have the essential role in sustaining good governance reforms to promote trade and investments, transparency and accountability, and efficiency in business services fuelling up local inclusive growth.
Chatto cited the need for LGUs to strengthen trade, investment and tourism promotions, compliance to the Anti-Red tape Act, and fiscal transparency.
All these do help provide an encouraging business climate and facilitate trade and industry development, he said.
In his executive order, the governor ordained the following:
“Section 1. Investment Promotion. The LGUs must establish investment promotion and generation strategies to advance equitable local development;
“Section 2. Anti-Red tape Act. The LGUs must be compliant with the Anti-Red tape Act, particularly in the area of business processing and licensing system;
“Section 3. Fiscal Transparency. The LGUs must practice fiscal transparency and implement sound financial policies;
“Section 4. Trade, Investment and Promotion. The LGUs are encouraged to display competence and commitment to generate local revenue and employment by enabling competitive business environment through policies, incentives and infrastructure that support sustainable local economic development;
“Section 5. Public-Private Sector Partnership (PPP). The LGUs must consider the interest of the private sector as an important development partner and ensure its representation to local councils for the successful implementation of projects;
“Section 6. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Development. The LGUs must institute policies and implement programs geared towards the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises;
“Section 7. Quality Management Systems and Innovations. Available resources such as information and communication technology, creative promotional materials and campaigns must be explored to promote local economy;
“Section 8. Quality Customer Service. Business-friendly procedures, professional and transparent dealings in the issuance of business permits, building and occupancy permits, and real property tax declarations must be implemented the LGUs; and
“Section 9. LGU Collaboration. Close coordination of efforts, services and resources with other government units must be strengthened to ensure effective and smooth implementation of programs.
The PCCI award to Bohol handed no less by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to Chatto at the 43rdPhilippine Business Conference in Manila last October 19 could mean the province is now both a domestic and global investment destination.
Business sources said the recognition is a big blessing in disguise as it gives Bohol a timely necessary advantage on the heels of the huge fall of the country’s global ranking in the ease of doing business.
It causes greater interest and makes Bohol glow over other emerging Philippine growth areas to the eyes of the international investors, they said.
That is precisely why the distinction “must tell us all to be consistent in our business-friendly policies,” Chatto said during his weekly media forum “Kita ug Ang Gobernador” on Friday.
But he also said LGUs have the mandate if there may be any need to tighten a little certain regulatory requirements for the interest of the general public.
During the Bohol Energy Development Advisory Group (BEDAG) meeting on Monday, the governor said that, after the Bohol award, investors have been told to put in place their right investments.
At the same meeting, four more power companies presented their proposals, now bringing to 49 the number of potential investors in Bohol’s power development program.
At the Provincial Peace and Order Council – Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council joint meeting on Monday, the governor said investments in Bohol will not be impeded by peace and order concerns.
Chatto said Bohol treasures peace, and is doubly watchful in keeping it, because “without peace, there is no business, there is no tourism, there is no development.”
The province’s image as an irresistible, choice convention destination further bodes well for Bohol’s aggressive investment promotion.
Bohol is hosting another Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting—the fourth here this year—before the ASEAN Leaders Summit in Manila and Clark, Pampanga this month.
The theme of the ASEAN 2017—“One Shared Vision, Prosperity for All”—is exactly a message to the Boholanos told in the award conferred to Bohol from the country’s biggest business organization, Chatto said. (Ven rebo Arigo)