NOTE: THIS PRESS RELEASE WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
Safety is the main agenda during this pandemic and this is what the City Government had in mind when it launched online initiatives to reinforce safety protocols. Just recently, the City Treasurer’s Office announced that payments for water, business and real property taxes can now be coursed through GCASH. This is to limit face-to-face transactions without depriving the much-needed revenues of the City Government.
City Mayor John Geesnell “Baba” Yap said that transactions in the City Government should not be stopped due to the health crisis, “We are continuously thinking of ways to strike a compromise between safety and revving up the local economy. Our driving force is to revive the local economy by encouraging Tagbilaranons to engage in local transactions and for the constituents to do that, they have to be assured of safety, vis-à-vis the containment of the virus,” Mayor Yap said.
Various initiatives were launched to reach this target. The City Accounting Office launched the Tracking Assistant Gateway or TAG. It is a software application that enables all the offices in the City Hall to track the progress of their claims online. There is no need to go to the City Accounting Office and discuss the status of the claims since all the details are already posted in the system. The IT department who made the program installed TAG in all the offices in the City Hall.
The system is assigned to a focal person who is responsible to manage the application. The TAG installed in a certain office cannot be accessed by other offices. It is exclusive and password-protected. The General Services Office (GSO) also followed suit and launched the e-procurement. It is a 24/7 system that automates the preparation of the Purchase Request (PRs) for goods and it allows easy tracking of the progress of PRs. All PRs will be filed and created online by the designated Supply Officer of the different departments and offices. The offices through their Supply Officer can follow up the status of their PRs online. The PRs will then be reviewed, printed and processed by the CGSO.
Then last June 2020, the Information Technology Department of the City Government was also tasked to come up with a contactless platform for the application of business permits. The IT established a link in the website where the e-permitting platform was placed. The clients need not to go to the City Hall to apply or renew their business permits. The first step is to click the link of the e-BPLP on the official website of the City Government of Tagbilaran and fill out the online form. The Business Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO) evaluates, validates, and assesses the application. Notifications will then be sent through email or SMS message whether the application has deficiencies or is approved.
For approved applications, a billing or statement of taxes, fees and charges is sent to the registered email address and mobile number of the applicant. The billed amount must be made through any of the following online payment channels: www.tagbilaran.gov.ph or PayMaya. Once the application and payment have been completed, an email and text message will be sent indicating the pick-up date of the business permit. During the Enhanced Community Quarantine, the SK Pederasyon of Tagbilaran City stepped up and made the voluntary task of delivering the approved business permits direct to the doorsteps of the permittees. Alongside the establishment of the e-permitting system, portal was the coordination with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Land Bank of the Philippines, and GCash to further facilitate the online payments.