Press Release
February 20, 2007


CLARK PAMPANGA - Senator Mar Roxas commended governors and mayors of Central Luzon led by Nueva Ecija Governor Tomas Joson for winning the battle against red tape and creating a business-friendly environment for local investors.

In a keynote speech he delivered at the opening ceremonies of the Central Luzon Investment Coordinating Council (CLICC) at the Grand Ballroom of the Holiday Inn in Clarkfield, Pampanga, Roxas said local governments with simplified procedures in the application of Mayors permits and other licenses have a clear advantage over competing localities in attracting investors.

Roxas cited Balanga City, Bataan as an example of a streamlined LGU where from 15 days, 12 steps, and three signatures, a Mayors Permit can now be obtained in only 30 minutes, after four steps, and securing one signature.

By applying the principles of good governance, the benefits of economic growth will be funneled by LGUs to the Filipino masses with whom they are closest at a quicker pace, Roxas said before an audience composed of governors and mayors of Central Luzon provinces led by Nueva Ecija governor Tomas N. Joson III, Central Luzon Growth Corridor Foundation, Inc. and Chairman of the CLICC.

Roxas was invited to witness the awarding of recognition to the Best LGU Streamlining Program Practitioners on the Issuance of Mayors Permit, a flagship program of the CLICC adopted in response to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyos call to eliminate red tape and reduce the cost of doing business.

The program involves the reduction of requirements, turnaround time, number of signatories, and amount of fees in the processing of business licenses and permits, as well as the institutionalization of client-friendly systems and procedures, such as the establishment of Business One-Stop Shop (BOSS). The program also includes a computerization component.

I hope that your success in the fight against red tape and complex bureaucratic procedures will be emulated by local leaders, department heads and regional offices all over the country. Today, not only Nueva Ecija, but the whole of Central Luzon is 100% streamlined. This would not have been possible without the remarkable foresight and political will of Governor Joson, Roxas said.

The senator from Capiz said that the occasion highlights the role of LGUs in facilitating local economic development led by private business and enterprise and sustaining economic growth by spreading its benefits more broadly.

In his keynote speech, Senator Roxas suggested that:

* Public funds for public services and programs can best be targeted by LGUs to deserving households and communities. Using LGUs as executors of public programs and policies financed by the national budget offers many opportunities for faster and more effective implementation.

* LGUs can accelerate the creation of favorable conditions for new investments and business locators in the Philippines , regardless of the economic sector. LGUs can facilitate the start-up and expansion of many businesses all over the country.

* Good governance in different localities can promote employment generating investments that can lift many from poverty, particularly in remote areas. Eliminating corruption, reducing red tape, promoting transparency, and assuring predictability in public transactions provide a business-friendly environment that would mean more jobs and better incomes for local residents.

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