Bacolod opens satellite gov’t office in shopping mall

Bacolod City officials headed by Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez and mall general manager Sharon Ciocon lead the opening of the Bacolod Express Service Office (BESO) at the Ayala Malls Capitol Central Monday. (Glazyl Y. Masculino photo)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – Residents here will now have easy access to government transactions without going to the Bacolod City Government Center (BCGC).

This, after the local government opened the Bacolod Express Service Office (BESO) at the Ayala Malls Capitol Central last Monday.

Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez led the opening rites along with Ayala Malls general manager Sharon Ciocon.

Benitez said the city government allocated more than P10 million fund for the construction of the said office, and there’s no rental fee. “This is our step towards promoting online transactions,” he added.

In his message, Benitez said that the project was conceptualized in 2022. “After a year, we have made this into a reality,” he added.

Benitez said they ensured the rehabilitation of the facility to have global standards.

Benitez said that BESO is the satellite office of the City Hall, thus they have brought it to the mall so that everybody could transact conveniently.

“This is the place where most people go. Mas hapos magkadto diri to do their business,” he added.

Benitez said that it’s no different when one goes to the City Hall, as BESO will have the same efficiency.

He said that they are looking at providing more services to the people comfortably, and conveniently.

In a media interview, Benitez said that BESO has more than 10 counters that could cater to different government transactions.

“We would like to get the traffic (of clients) on a daily basis to determine if we need to add more counters,” he added.

Benitez said that if the number of clients is only minimal, they can make it a receiving hub and forward the documents to the concerned department at the BCGC.

He said they are planning to open the office on weekends, adding that they will go on full blast next week.

When asked if there’s a need to add more staff, the mayor said that they are eyeing to add manpower to the office.

Aside from Ayala, an express service hub also opened at SM City Bacolod this year.

Benitez said the express service centers are designed to promote online transactions.

“We would like to transition the process of application of taxpayers and bills in the government so that we can eventually go online and lessen the staffing cost,” he added.

Benitez said this is making the government services more efficient and accessible to Bacolodnons.

During the opening of BESO, Ayala paid over P28 million in Real Property Tax (RPT) as the city’s maiden client.

Meanwhile, Benitez said that BESO also has a tourism booth, where investors can get information or data that will showcase investment opportunities and tourist destinations here.