Cebu Biz Group advocates digitization to improve ease and lower cost of doing business

The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry concluded the Digital Transformation & Innovation Forum with a call for maximizing the impact of digitization not only to improve ease of doing business but most importantly ensure prompt delivery of services to people and the nation.

In a speech delivered during the forum on June 20, Director-General Secretary Ernesto Perez of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) emphasized President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s marching orders under the Bagong Pilipinas brand of governance for government offices to integrate digital technologies across the bureaucracy to enhance the ease of doing business, streamline processes, expedite responses, and promptly deliver public services.

Attended with over 200 entrepreneurs, business leaders, executives, academe, line agencies, sectoral associations and sub-cultures, the 2024 Digital Transformation and Innovation Forum: “Enabling Cebu’s Competitiveness Through Digital Transformation and Innovation”, CCCI President Jay Yuvallos quoted, “Like a forest with big trees, shorter trees, shrubs, grasses, moss and the other living creatures – their connection to and interaction forms the forest ecosystem. So is the business ecosystem. It is essential to understand each enterprise and other organizations who live and thrive in this forest and how they interact with their environment to design and develop approaches and strategies to promote long-term forest ecosystem health.”

A presentation of best practices from the Local Government Units (LGU) Quezon City, Cebu City, Mandaue City, and Lapu-Lapu City underscored how the digitization facilitates business permit renewals, submission and payment of related documents.

According to Ma. Margarita Mejia, Department Head of Business Permits and Licensing (BPLS) in Quezon City, the establishment of automated renewal and issuance of business permits resulted in the remarkable decrease of pending delivered permits as well as minimized bias and corruption in the bureaucratic process. Mejia added that the shift to the digitalization of Quezon City impacted the business community which gained a 350% increase in capital investment, about 98% of business owners are processing business applications online, and a 25% increase in new business registrants.

Moreover, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Signing Ceremony between the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, represented by its President, Mr. Jay Y. Yuvallos, and National Development Company, represented by Assistant General Manager Mr. Leopoldo John F. Acot effected to create an innovation hub as a collaborative place and valuable resource for knowledge exchange and capacity building where entrepreneurs, investors, startups, and industry experts can meet, share ideas, and establish successful enterprises in Cebu and the Visayas. 

Additionally, the Anti-Red Tape Authority, represented by ARTA’s Director General, Secretary Ernesto V. Perez and the Chamber renewed its agreement to enhancing the Cebu’s business environment and streamline processes and bolster the economic landscape by fostering innovation, reducing bureaucratic hurdles, and promoting digital transformation through another MOU signing ceremony.