The City of Manila foresees a better business climate under the administration of Mayor Joseph Estrada for the year 2018 as it continues to rebound from its deep financial turmoil back in 2013.
The city’s Bureau of Permits said it expects over 1,000 new businesses to open by January, while 45,000 more will renew their licenses and permits, generating P300 million in fees alone.
Bureau of Permits director Fortune Mayuga attributed this to Estrada’s improved government administration, especially at the start of his second term, which spawned a boom in businesses in the city, from micro industries to big companies.
“This is a manifestation of confidence in the city and there are a lot who want to invest here,” Mayuga said in an interview.
“You can see that there are a lot of banks, restaurants, the small- and medium-size establishments, and also call centers,” she added.
Ten big business process outsourcing firms have recently opened in Manila, the city official said.
Mayuga cited Malate, Sta. Ana, and Sampaloc as some of the areas that have been experiencing a business boom in the past few years.
As the city starts preparing for the 2018 renewal season and application of business permits, Mayuga said they expect about 45,000 businesses to renew during the period of January to February.
As of 2017, there are over 54,000 registered establishments in Manila plus 1,000 new ones expected to open in January, according to the Bureau of Permits chief.
“We estimate more than P300 million income will be generated by the city of Manila from the payment of business permit fees alone for next year. This is just for the permits only, not including taxes,” Mayuga said.
Since Estrada took over Manila in 2013, it has fine-tuned its relations with businesses, complemented by its geographical location and the presence of the North and South Harbors.
To make the City of Manila more conducive to business, Estrada introduced a new registration and licensing system where business owners and new investors could process their Mayor’s Permit in 30 minutes, guaranteed.
Estrada introduced the scheme at the start of the annual business permit application and renewal season in January, which led to increased collection of business taxes and fees by the city government.
This August, Manila emerged as the country’s second most competitive city, maintaining its high ranking in the annual Regional Competitiveness Summit since 2013.
Next to Quezon City, the City of Manila placed second in the overall most competitive cities award in the highly-urbanized cities category, edging out Makati City, the so-called “financial capital” of the country.
Manila also took home the top spot in government efficiency category, is second in infrastructure, and third in resiliency rankings handed out by the public-private sector organization National Competitiveness Council during the 5th Annual Regional Competitiveness Summit on August 16.
NCC’s Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index ranks the cities, municipalities and provinces of the country according to their economic dynamism, government efficiency and infrastructure.
In 2015, NCC also recognized the City of Manila as the most competitive highly urbanized city, dethroning Makati City, which won in 2014.
Since 2014, more business establishments opened up in Manila, resulting to steady increase of income from taxes and business fees, according to Mayuga.
In 2015, there were 6,743 new businesses in the city, and 9,165 in 2016, she pointed out.
Overall, there were a total of 54,242 new and renewed Mayor’s Permits that were issued in 2016 compared to about 53,000 in the previous year, Mayuga added.
“Last year, our office had a 10 to 15 percent increase in income, so we can say that business must be good here in Manila because investors keep coming,” the Bureau of Permit chief pointed out.
Aside from regular businesses such as restaurants, hotels, condominiums, stores and shops, among others, Mayuga said banks such as BDO, BPI, Metrobank, and Chinabank have put up more branches in the city.
In the last three years, several big BPO firms also opened up in Manila when in the past years, they were concentrated in the cities of Makati, Taguig, and Pasig, Mayuga added.
Based on the Cities and Municipalities Competitive Index of NCC, there were 45,013 approved business registrations in the City of Manila from January to March 2015, and 45,996 from January to March 2016.
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