The Department of Commerce’s One-Stop Processing Center is proving to be a boon to businesses because of the ease of securing government permits now compared to how it was before, according to Commerce Secretary Mark O. Rabauliman.
“The One-Stop Processing Center was initiated by then secretary and now senator Sixto Igisomar. He put me and Workers Compensation Commission director Frank Cabrera [in charge] of developing it. There was a need to streamline and centralize business registration processing for the convenience of the public, specifically the business owners,” he said.
The center is located in one room at the Department of Commerce. Gone are the days when the different offices were located in different places. It is now consolidated. There are windows that cater to a specific business: Alcohol, beverage and tobacco control, banking, insurance, workers’ compensation, weights and measures, and taxicab bureau.
“The information from every department is there at the center. People who would like to open a business can talk to any person in the front line and get information that is current. Everyone at the center knows everything about every division, like which forms to fill up, what other requirements are needed, etc. Our employees empower each other by learning the tasks of each and everyone. So in the event that someone is sick or on vacation, someone in the office can take over. There are no excuses why one process is on hold because the person handling it is not around,” Rabaulimam said.
There has also been a significant decrease in turnaround time since the inception of the center. Currently, business registration takes three days. That used to take five or more days to finish. The center’s goal is to trim that to within a day.
The placement of the directors next door also makes business registration faster. Inquiries, certifications, and clearances may be asked directly from directors of every division. The center provides necessary service and accessibility.
“It’ a revolving cycle. If the service is good, our business owners’ services are good. Both benefit. We are guided by our laws. For our part, it allows us to be flexible,” Rabauliman said.
He said that going high-tech will increase the level of service they want to provide to the public. Online registration is one of the department’s projects and goals for 2017.
“We are in the digital age. We are aware that a lot of things can be done with just a push of a button. We are currently working with potential contractors,” he said.
In a speech that Rabauliman gave at the Public Service Recognition Week early this month, he said that the One-Stop Processing Center is the heart of the department.
“The One-Stop Processing Center is one our of contributions in bringing solutions. This is also in line with the administration’s program of being business-friendly, streamlining, transparency and accountability.”