DILG to LGUs: Establish one-stop shops, reduce processing time for building permits

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Obtaining building permits and certificates of occupancy is expected to be easier and faster with the establishment of one-stop shops as well as reduced processing time for securing construction/building permits (OSCP) in local government units (LGUs) as mandated in a new Joint Memorandum Circular issued by the DILG, DPWH, DTI and DICT.

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Officer-in-Charge Catalino S. Cuy says that the DILG has directed all LGUs to establish one-stop shops at the LGU’s Office of the Building Official (OBO) to provide frontline services and assist those who wish to apply for building permits and certificates of occupancy.

“With the establishment of OSCPs, people do not have to go from one office to another to apply and get their business permits and certificates of occupancy.  The OSCP will also ably assist them in facilitating the quick evaluation and release of the documents that they need,” says Cuy.

The OSCP is only one of the many mechanisms outlined in the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) between the DILG, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) that aims to ease bureaucratic red tape in securing a building permit and a certificate of occupancy.

The JMC is in compliance with President Duterte’s directive for all government agencies with frontline services to reduce processing time and improve the country’s ranking in global competitiveness surveys.

Aside from the OSCP, the circular also provides guidelines for LGUs to streamline the process for securing building permits and certificates of occupancy. Among the measures enumerated in the directive is the use of a preformatted application form, the number of steps applicants need to take, and the maximum processing period for the issuance of permits.

With the new JMC, the OBO will require a maximum of only four steps: the submission of the necessary form and documents, the acceptance of a receipt for payment, the payment of fees and charges, and the claiming of the building permit.

For the issuance of the Fire Safety Evaluation Clearance (FSEC), meanwhile, the BFP will be given a maximum of three working days to process applications.

Cuy points out that these improvements are more than just increasing our rank in international economic competitive rankings, but it is about “developing local economies and providing the Filipino people with the quality service that they deserve.”

Among the functions of the OSCP are: receive applications and documents for building permits and certificates of occupancy; coordinate and facilitate the conduct of technical reviews by the concerned departments of cities/municipalities (e.g. Zoning Office, Barangay Official) and the local Bureau of Fire Protection; and facilitate the retrieval of documentary requirements such as the tax declaration and current receipt of real property tax payments in coordination with concerned city/municipal departments.

The OSCP will also implement a one-time assessment of fees and charges related to applications for building permits and certificates of occupancy in coordination with the BFP, the Zoning Officer, the Assessor’s Office, the Treasurer’s Office and the OBO.  It will also coordinate the conduct of joint inspections by the OBO, the Assessor’s Office and the BFP; receive payment of all related fees and charges in coordination with the BFP and the OBO; and release building permit or certificate of occupancy, either through online or physical release.

To ensure that the directive is properly implemented, the DILG will conduct capacity building programs and issue a manual of operations for the guidance of all LGUs.

As the Vice Chair of the Oversight Committee on Construction and Permit Reforms, the DILG will also monitor OBO, LGU, and BFP’s execution of the JMC.

The DILG is also set to collaborate with the DICT in the development of an automated system for building permits and certificates of occupancy.