A top university in Asia has lauded the city government of Valenzuela for its successful implementation of 3S (Simple, Speed, Service) Program.
The National University of Singapore or NUS invited the city’s former mayor, now Valenzuela City Congressman Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian, for coming up with an innovative program, which aims to expedite issuance of business permits and payment transactions.
In a three-day Policy Innovation Festival in Singapore, NUS Lee Kuan Yew’s School of Public Policy asked Gatchalian to share his experience in delivering simple but speedy services using technology from 2004 to 2013 to few, chosen leaders around.
The prestigious university recognized Gatchalian’s initiatives for getting rid of major hurdles that used to discourage businessmen from investing in the city.
The 3S Plus program of Valenzuela City simplified the process of getting business permits to just 30 minutes from 14 to 21 days, as well as building and occupancy permits to two to three days from the previous seven days.
The successful program also shortened the process of obtaining the Transfer of Tax Declaration to 15 to 30 minutes from the original timeframe of two days.
It also allows taxpayers to see information on their real property tax online and to pay for some transactions via their mobile phones.
The Valenzuela City government also harnessed the power of technology in helping its constituents in finding work through PESO Online, the first ever job-matching online initiative of a local government unit in the country.
The database pairs qualified applicants to available jobs before being notified for job requirements.
The 3S Plus program helped Valenzuela City earn the Galing Pook Award in 2012 for innovations and excellence in local governance.
It also helped the city win the 2012 Most Business-Friendly Local Government Unit Award from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The city’s fiscal performance for the same year has been given by the Bureau of Local Government Finance a “very good” rating, with dependence on internal revenue allocation (IRA) from the national government significantly reduced to 36% from 42% in the previous year.
Gatchalian is among the handful of former and current local officials chosen by the NUS in its Policy Innovation Festival, which was held from August 5 to 7 in the Lion City.
It seeks to synthesize the various experiences of LGUs that became successful in increasing local revenues and improving the delivery of basic services to their constituents. (Monica Cantilero)