Business-friendly LGUs pushed

THE Departments of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Finance are pushing for reasonable regulatory fees and charges to make local government units (LGUs) business-friendly.

A joint memorandum was signed by the two agencies to guide LGUs in setting fees and charges in accordance with the provisions of RA 7160 or the Local Government Code and RA 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business Law.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said with the issuance of the JMC, LGUs will be effectively guided on how to adjust and revise their fees and charges “at just and reasonable rates sufficient to cover the cost of services rendered.”

“High rates discourage investors while low rates could compromise the revenue generation of the LGUs. With this JMC, we are able to set the standard for the appropriate rates for the fees and charges to be imposed by the LGUs,” he said.

At the time, Año encouraged the LGUs to rationalize their imposed fees and charges in accordance with the guideline.

Año stressed that defiant LGUs that will impose additional fees and charges not reflected in their Citizen’s Charters will be sanctioned. Among the common and allowable fees and charges collected by LGUs are the business permit/mayor’s permit fee; barangay clearance; permit to extract sand, gravel and other quarry resources; fees for sealing and licensing of weights and measures.