THE Philippine Business Hub (PBH), the government’s online business registration portal, was relaunched by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and various other agencies on Monday.
“Through the establishment of the PBH, the (number of) days for registering businesses was reduced from 33 and 13 steps to only seven with only one step,” the Bureau of Internal Revenue said in a statement on Monday.
At the launch, Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) Officer-in-Charge Ernesto V. Perez said the ultimate target is to bring down processing time to just one day.
“It is our hope what we are doing today will serve as a model for all other local government units to follow,” Mr. Perez said, following an initial rollout in Quezon City. He added that the new process aims to rid registration of corruption and red tape.
“The end goal is not just to register a business. The dream is for the PBH to be the only place you go to as a business, to register, to pay taxes, pay social services for your employees, and the like,” DICT Acting Secretary Emmanuel Rey R. Caintic said. “The Quezon City integration is an important thing. The Quezon City government has the largest number of businesses nationwide.”
“I told the mayor, if we hit Quezon City, everyone else will follow. Because the biggest, largest (LGU) is already integrated, there’s no more reason for other cities not to integrate,” he added.
Initially the Central Business Portal, it was rebranded as the PBH.
Mr. Caintic told BusinessWorld by phone that the rebranding was resorted to after the pandemic stalled the portal’s momentum after earlier launches in 2020 and 2021.
“This is (a) one-pass through for everyone. Apply at PBH now, and you automatically have SSS, Pag-IBIG, PhilHealth, etc.,” he added. “This is just phase one. How often do you register a business? Once in a blue moon. The recurring things are paying taxes, the renewal of applications.”
Republic Act 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Delivery of Government Services Act, provides for the creation of an online portal to streamline the process of applying for business permits and other applications, which the DICT is tasked with operating.
The relaunch is headed by the DICT, ARTA, the Department of Trade and Industry, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. This iteration will involve localizing the program and refreshing the website.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte urged subsequent administrations to continue using the PBH at his last State of the Nation Address on July 26, 2021.
“We have this legacy, and we hope to pass on this establishment of the Central Business Portal, a single site for all business-related transactions, such as securing business permits, licenses, and clearances,” he said. “This shall certainly elevate our global business standing in the doing business arena and improve our country’s competitiveness.”
ARTA plans to further improve the PBH over the years through its Business Process Mapping project, which includes mapping all permits and licenses involved in the business cycle, right up to business closures, and integrating them into the PBH. — Tobias Jared Tomas