Utility firms, Quezon City gov't agree to simplify transactions

MANILA, Philippines – Shorter transaction periods are seen for utility firms in Quezon City, especially with the processing and approval of permits needed for construction of facilities within the city. 

Together with the Department of Trade and Industry, the Manila Electric Company (Meralco), Maynilad Water Services, and Manila Water signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Tuesday, April 16, to streamline the ease of doing business with the Quezon City government.  

Maynilad chief operating officer Randolph Estrellado told Rappler that this is the first agreement they have signed with a local government unit (LGU) on streamlining the process of doing business.

"This is actually, really more of commitment on the part of the Quezon City government and ourselves on cutting the number of steps required," Estrellado added.

"For instance, applying for a water connection, dati mas mahaba 'yung proseso (there used to be a longer process) on getting permits from the city hall. That's the responsibility of the consumer. So a lot of steps were cut."

Through the MOU, Maynilad said it will be the one to submit an application for an excavation permit to the city hall through email. The applicant or the consumer applying for a new water service connection (NWSC) will pay and pick up the permit after 4 days.

Aside from this, the MOU also states that the LGU and the water concessionaires are expected to design and implement a modernized process for the application of the NWSC, which will be subject to periodic review.

On the part of the LGU alone, the processing and release of excavation permits needed for the companies' operations will have to be done within 3 days. It is expected to take effect after Holy Week, Maynilad said. 

Maynilad and Manila Water will have to advise applicants for NWSCs on the following:

Both concessionaires will also have to ensure that the restoration will be completed within the same day when the NWSC and excavation are completed.

The MOU also allows Maynilad and Manila Water to ask exemptions from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority during the Christmas holidays, when a moratorium on excavation works is implemented.

As for Meralco, the company will also see a faster process for receiving excavation permits needed for setting up utility poles by getting it within 3 days instead of a week.

Prior to this, Meralco had signed various agreements with other LGUs to streamline operating processes.

Aside from these utility firms, the Land Registration Authority (LRA) also signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Quezon City, providing the LRA with a kiosk in the Taxpayers' Lounge. 

The transactions covered by the MOA include the issuance of certified true electronic copies of certificates of title. – Rappler.com