taxes

[Ask the Tax Whiz] How will the Central Business Portal be implemented in the Philippines (Part 1)

Mon Abrea
[Ask the Tax Whiz] How will the Central Business Portal be implemented in the Philippines (Part 1)

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The Philippine Tax Whiz discusses the Central Business Portal

What is the Central Business Portal?

The Central Business Portal (CBP) is a single site for all business-related information and aims to promote effective government service delivery and transparency. It seeks to streamline the registration of businesses, renewal of permits and other activities through online transactions. As defined under RA 11032 (Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018), the Central Business Portal (CBP) serves as a central system for receiving applications and capturing application data, including, among others, the issuance of primary and secondary licenses, business clearances, permits, certifications, or authorizations issued by the local government units (LGUs).

The creation of the CBP was mandated by RA 11032. Under Section 3 thereof, all government offices and agencies are covered by this law. It includes LGUs, government-owned or -controlled corporations, and other government instrumentalities, whether located in the Philippines or abroad, which provide services covering business and non-business related transactions. The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) will administer the CBP’s implementation, which will also provide support, facilitation, and assistance to the participating agencies throughout its development and implementation.

What is Phase 1 of CBP?

On January 28, 2021, the ARTA and its partner agencies launched the first phase of the CBP through business.gov.ph. Under this initial implementation, it allows the registration of the following corporations:

  1. Corporations with two to four incorporators
  2. Regular corporations whose incorporators are judicial entities and/or the capital structure is not covered by the 25%-25% rule
  3. One person corporations

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has also released Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) No. 15-2021, announcing the services covered by the CBP. According to the issuance, the CBP will offer the following functionalities:

  1. Registration with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Issuance of a Company Registration Number (CRN)
  2. Issuance of a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) for new corporations
  3. Identification of the national internal revenue taxes which the new corporation will be liable to
  4. Payment of the Annual Registration Fee (ARF) of P500 and Loose Documentary Stamp Tax (DST) of P30 through the ePayment facilities or manually at the Revenue District Office (RDO)
  5. Generation of BIR electronic Certificate of Registration (COR) which can be printed in A4 paper size by the taxpayers. The electronic COR bears a Quick Response (QR)Code that serves as a security feature to prove authenticity of the COR.

The CBP will serve as a central system for government agencies such as SEC, BIR, SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG, as well as a platform that will promote the use of electronic payment systems for the said agencies.

At present, what are the features of the CBP?

According to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) will be developed in phases. At present, the CBP features include:

  • Registration of One Person Corporations, corporations with less than five incorporators, and regular corporations with the SEC
  • Online Payment for BIR filing and registration fees
  • Unified Employee Reporting Module for SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-Ibig
  • Issuance of Secondary license featuring FDA’s license to Operate for Center for Drugs
  • Interface with Quezon City Business Permitting System and 16 LGUs with Electronic
  • Business Permit and Licensing System (eBPLS). Redirection with Paranaque City Business Permitting System

The unification of FDA’s License to Operate into the CBP reduces the number of steps from 28to 9, of requirements from 41 to 12, and of days from 63 to 21 in acquiring the LTO.

To a greater extent, the CBP will also be linked to the online business permitting system of the local government units, such as Quezon City, Parañaque, Ilagan City, Baler, Dipaculao, Limay, Macabebe, Paete, Santa Cruz in Marinduque, Labo, Santa Barbara in Iloilo, Mandaue, Dumingag, Catarman, and Kabacan.

The implementation of the CBP will serve as an innovation that will boost the country’s performance in the Starting a Business indicator under the World Bank’s Doing Business Report. It will minimize/eliminate the undue burden on applicants of having to fill up redundant entry forms with different agencies. The CBP reduced the length of days needed for registering businesses from 33 days and 13 steps to only five to seven days. The One SEC digital program of SEC, which is expected to fully automate and reduce the processing time to a day or less for registering a new corporation, will be launched on http://business.gov.ph by the fourth quarter of 2021.

These changes make business registration, and doing business in general, much easier. There are also other changes that business owners should keep track of, especially in the field of taxation. The government’s Comprehensive Tax Reform Program has introduced several changes that taxpayers should be aware of. To understand these changes, the Asian Consulting Group has published the second edition of its Iwas BUWISit 2022 Edition, which presents tax regulations in a more digestible manner. You may grab a copy through this link: https://tinyurl.com/CSRPHShopee. All proceeds of the book sale will help fund the advocacy programs of Center for Strategic Reforms of the Philippine – the advocacy arm of ACG. – Rappler.com

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