Cities and municipalities are directed to transition to an electronic business one stop shop (eBOSS) under the new Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) on the Guidelines for Processing Business Permits, Related Clearances and Licenses in the New Normal in all Cities and Municipalities.

The JMC is a joint initiative of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

“With the advent of the pandemic, new challenges and obstacles have emerged. Since physical transactions are limited in compliance with health protocols, we need to completely automate government services, including national and local business registration processes, for the continuance of delivery of services amid our situation,” DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II explained.

“As we implement the provisions of this JMC, DICT is always ready to provide assistance to LGUs as well as to national and regional offices of various government agencies in their transition to digital,” he added.

The Electronic Business One Stop Shop (eBOSS) is an online portal or website – including DICT’s Integrated Business Processing and Licensing System (iBLPS), ARTA PLATFORM, and other online business permitting systems or platforms used by local government units (LGUs) – with the following functionalities and specifications provided in Section 8.3.1 of the JMC:

  • Accepts online or electronic submission of application
  • Issues electronically the tax bill/order of payment
  • Accepts online payments
  • Issues electronic versions of permits, licenses and clearances
  • Provides gateway facility linked to courier service for applicants who prefer to receive hard copy of permits

Pending the establishment of eBOSS, the JMC encourages LGUs to set-up physical business one stop shops (BOSS) to receive and process manual and/or electronic submissions of applications for licenses, clearances, and permits or authorizations.  

Likewise, the JMC also provides for standards and guidelines in processing business registrations in the new normal. Regardless of the use of eBOSS or Physical BOSS, a unified application form shall be used.  A one-step process for LGUs with eBOSS and four-step or less process for LGUs transitioning to eBOSS shall also be implemented.

In addition, permits and documents shall be processed within three days. There should be a maximum of three signatories representing the officers directly supervising the office/department responsible for the permit/clearance. LGUs shall use authenticated digital signatures or electronic signatures in the business permits that will be issued to the applicants. LGUs are, hence, directed to avail of and recognize the use of the DICT’s Philippine National Public Key Infrastructure (PNPKI), which provides a more secure manner of digitally signing official documents.

The JMC covers all cities and municipalities, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), regional offices of DICT, DTI, DILG and ARTA, and all other agencies involved in the business licensing and processing of LGUs.

The issuance of the JMC is in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 and President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s directive for the DICT, ARTA and other agencies to “make physical queuing a thing of the past” and to automate government systems.

Section 26 of the law directs the DICT to automate business-related transactions by “developing the necessary software and technology-neutral platforms; securing infrastructure that is web-based and accessible to the public, in coordination with other concerned agencies; and ensuring that all 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th class municipalities are provided with the appropriate equipment and connectivity, information and communications technology (or ICT) platform, training and capability building to ensure LGU compliance with RA 11032.