City Hall biz licensing goes online

The Iloilo City government through the Business Permits and Licensing Office is implementing online business permit applications through the integrated Business Permits and Licensing System or iBPLS developed by the Local Economic Development and Investment Promotion with BPLO. (F.A. Angelo photo)

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

Cynthia Montalban is testing her learning curve in the online registration of her employer’s business in Iloilo City.

She said the integrated Business Permits and Licensing System (iBPLS) the city rolled out for business permitting and registration appears to be easier and more convenient. It is a far cry from the usual queueing at the Business Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO) located at the City Hall.

Apart from being a requirement of the Republic Act 11032 (Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018), the iBPLS rollout went into hyperdrive due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic which caused the world to grind to a halt for more than two years.

With face-to-face interaction restricted, the world resorted to information technology to keep things running. And it was imperative for businesses and governments that rely on revenues from the latter.

Iloilo City began transitioning its business permit and licensing processes from manual to online through the iBPLS this year.

Developed by the Local Economic Development and Investment Promotion (LEDIP) and the BPLO, the system was developed on the backs of requests from businesses and city hall clients themselves.

LEDIP chief Velma Jane Lao described the system as an “end-to-end business process licensing,” which means it will be done online from application to payment and release of the permit.

Lao said applicants who have difficulty navigating the new system can still opt for the manual process at the BPLO or offsite centers in major malls in the city.

The offsite centers are located at Festive Walk Mall, Marymart Mall, and the Atrium.

LEDIP data as of Jan 8, 2023 indicated that iBPLS has received 2,448 applications while 1,264 permits were issued.

The city government expects 15,000 to 16,000 business permits to be renewed in 2023.

But Mayor Jerry Treñas said he is not inclined to extend the business permit renewal period that will end on Jan 20.

Treñas said he was confident that the city government can cater to the expected number of business permits that will be renewed this year.

“We do not foresee that it will be extended. Even during the Covid-19, we extended but only for one week,” he said.

Lao said the parallel implementation of the manual process and the iBPLS will allow them to study problems that might arise from the new system.

“I think it is a good time that it was implemented so that we see all the lapses and gaps that can be addressed. This is already working in other government units,” Lao said.

More information on the iBPLS is available at (With a report from PNA)