Ilago: "There is a need to unbundle revenue benefits from regulatory function of local permits & licenses"
During the 6th Lecture of the CLRG@50 Past Forward Lecture Series, NCPAG Associate Professor Simeon Ilago (CLRG Director 2003-2010) said that part of the solution to strengthening local regulatory practice is to dissociate revenue raising benefits of the exercise of local government regulatory functions. The lecture was held last 11 November 2015 at NCPAG, UP Diliman, Quezon City.
In an effort to compete as being the most business-friendly LGU, local governments may scrimp on some essential regulatory parameters like inspection. It has been a trend among local governments in the Philippines to streamline the local business and permitting process in order to attract more business locators to their localities--emphasizing the ease of doing business as the main competitive advantage. However, in the wake of the Kentex factory fire in Valenzuela City last 13 May 2015, local regulation practices have come under the spotlight.
Prof. Ilago also highlighted that there is a wide disparity in the standards applied by LGUs in the business permits and licensing process. He adds that "LGUs can only opt to follow in form but not in function." That is why some local governments may have strict inspection processes while some have expedited or deferred inspections. Ilago recommended that more studies are needed with regard to standards and the simplification of processes without sacrificing regulatory requirements.
During Ilago's term, CLRG with support from GIZ-German Development Cooperation produced a guidebook on business permits and licensing systems (BPLS) and conducted audits of LGU systems and procedures as a component of a project with the Office of Ombudsman developing an Integrity Development Review for LGUs.
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