Business confidence in Bacolod City remains high despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Mayor Evelio Leonardia.
After only its first week of opening as of January 8, the city government’s Business One-Stop-Shop (BOSS) has already registered 7,531 businesses.
This figure – which includes those businesses that registered in advance beginning November 15, 2020 – is already equivalent to 31% of last year’s total registration of 23,545.
“The business registration of 23,545 for 2020 is way beyond our expectation considering we were in the midst of a pandemic last year. That means business confidence is still high and we can expect that after this crisis we can restore the vibrancy of the economy,” the mayor said.
Leonardia admitted that the city government had expected a much lower business registration turnout in 2020. A decrease of at least 20% to 30% was projected but the drop only amounted to 8% from the 25,637 total business registrants in 2019.
Leonardia said this proves the resiliency of Bacolod in view of its “business-friendly” policies.
The BOSS, which started operations on January 4, will continue to cater to applications and renewals of business permits until March 31, 2021.
The BOSS is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays at the 4th floor of the Ayala Malls Capitol Central.
This is the first time that the BOSS is being held outside the Bacolod City Government Center since it was conceptualized. Leonardia said that the mall has wider spaces – a total of 1,600 square meters,
– allowing the strict observance of minimum health protocols against COVID-19.
“Just as important as observing health protocols, we designed this system in line with our business-friendly policies which we had adhered to for so many years. This is an innovation to continuously create an environment conducive for businesses to rapidly grow. Our business community deserves a spacious, convenient, and accessible facility as they are a vital engine to our economic recovery program,” the mayor earlier said.
Business permit applicants who pay their regulatory fees in advance covering the whole year are entitled to a 10-percent discount, provided they do so before the March 31 deadline.
The BOSS can accommodate at most 300 clients a day, but Stela Rose Rayos, head of the Bacolod Permits and License Office (BPLO), said that they are planning to increase their daily capacity to cater to up to 500 clients.
A “No Appointment, No Transaction” policy is implemented to control the number of daily clients at the BOSS. Wearing of face masks and face shields as well as observing physical distancing are also strictly required.
Applicants may secure an appointment online by logging in to the Bacolod City government website (https://ols3.bacolodcity.gov.ph).
For Offline/Walk-in Appointment, applicants may visit the BPLO at the ground floor of the Bacolod City Government Center, or the BOSS at the Ayala Malls Capitol Central.
Joining the BOSS are various agencies, including the 61 barangays for clearances, City Health Office (CHO), City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) – Zoning Division, Office of the Building Official, Environment and Natural Resources Office (ENRO), City Tourism Office, City Cooperative and Livelihood Development Office, City Department of Agriculture, City Veterinary Office, and Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).
The national agencies are Pag-IBIG, and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Except for the BFP, which has set up a desk at the ground floor of Ayala Malls Capitol Central, all other participating agencies are situated at the 4th floor of the mall. (Source: BCPIO)