Big things start out small.
This is how Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian described what the government’s mindset should be in its efforts to improve the economy of the Philippines during his talk at TEDx in the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman yesterday.
In a talk titled ‘What I’ve Learned’, the former three-term mayor of Valenzuela City reminded the government to set its eyes on small-scale problems before looking into the bigger picture.
“Punta kayo sa LRT or NAIA then go to a government toilet, parating marumi at mabaho. ‘Di ko maintindihan because if you can’t fix a toilet then how can you fix the traffic–much more the government?” Gatchalian asked.
“Big things start out small so kung ‘di natin masosolusyunan yung maliit na problema. Paano na ‘yung buong ekonomiya? D’yan palang may kahinaan na,” he added.
Gatchalian was one of six popular personalities from various fields and industries who were invited to speak at TEDx, a locally organized conference devoted to spread ideas on technology, entertainment, design, and other social issues.
The award-winning leader discussed how Valenzuela City used information technology (IT) to reform its industrial sector by helping out small-scale entrepreneurs and businesses through the 3S+ in Public Service.
The program stands for “Simple Speed and Service Excellence in Public Service” system.
Gatchalian, who served as mayor of Valenzuela City from 2004 to 2013, said the local government of Valenzuela City was able to develop a digital business permit registration system that cut down the procurement time of business permits from 14 to 21 days to only 20 minutes.
“This is the wonder of technology. Dati ang daming requirements, very confusing and time-consuming because you have to go to the different offices but in the new system, you only talk to one person and you spend less time,” Gatchalian explained.
Gatchalian also talked about the geographical information system (GIS) that enables Valenzuela City to digitally map out tax on a property through a satellite system without any human intervention.
“Using our satellite system, we would know exactly how big your house or your factory is. We can compute right away as to how much you should pay the government. We eliminated human intervention to eliminate corruption,” Gatchalian said.
Gatchalian also discussed the Philippines’ First Fully Automated Building and Construction permit system in Valenzuela City which reduced the period of processing building and construction permits from two months to two days.
Residents in Valenzuela City are also able to get tax declaration issuance in only 15 to 30 minutes with the help of 3S+ system as compared to the period of two days in the old system.
Based on the data of Valenzuela City local government, there is a 100.99 percent increase in registered business in city from 2004 to 2013 with a total number of registered establishments reaching 13,999 by 2013.
The data also indicated that the total annual income of the local government of Valenzuela City doubled from 2004 to 2013 with a total of over P2 billion in 2013.
During Gatchalian’s term, the local government of Valenzuela City was awarded as the Best Governed Highly Urbanized City for 2010 by the Department of Local and Interior Government (DILG).
It also became a Galing Pook awardee for Outstanding Local Governance program because of its 3S+ system. (Tim Alcantara)