The advent of new technology has ushered in a new perspective on the long standing methods of many disciplines. Whether applied in the academe or the industry, technology has made an important mark in streamlining various operations and it is rapidly replacing old systems. Its usefulness cannot be denied and it is almost a requirement to utilize these new tools in order to not fall behind.
Last year, the Municipality of Castillejos in partnership with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) simultaneously launched the Tech4Ed Center, and the Rural Impact Sourcing Technical Training Program which aimed to assist local business owners in building an online presence while also training a group of eCommerce developers from Castillejos. Through the assistance of the DICT, Castillejos has also launched the Free Public WiFi project Free WiFi For All (previously called Pipol Konek), and equipped the Municipal Library with desktop computers. Continuing with the successful trend of integrating technology to its various functions for its citizens, the Municipality of Castillejos made another leap forward by launching the Electronic Business Permit and Licensing System (eBPLS).
Local businesses in the Municipality of Castillejos are either started or renewed every January. An extension is often applied to the application period that spans until the second week of February, but applications or renewals made beyond the extension are given a penalty which is applied to the tax order of payment. It is for this reason why many business owners tend to crowd the Municipal Hall during the main application period. The established business permit and licensing system, while serviceable, is rather taxing to the applicant as the offices where the required documents could be acquired from are far apart from each other. Furthermore, there is no unified platform to which all requirements could be submitted at once so that the approval process is more time efficient. The eBPLS aims to resolve these issues.
The launching of the redesigned Municipality of Castillejos Business One Stop Shop (BOSS) and the eBPLS was held on November 11, 2019. The event was attended by Castillejos Municipal Mayor Eleanor D. Dominguez, Vice Mayor Rizal G. Salih Jr., SB Councilors Navarro Munding, and Albert Tugadi, Business Process and Licensing Officer Randy Enriquez, former Mayor Angelo M. Dominguez, and representatives of the DICT, DTI, DILG, and MyEg.
The Municipality of Castillejos is one of the first municipalities in Zambales to implement the system and second only to San Narciso in launching the system to replace the old pen-and-paper approach. Business owners can now expect a faster and easier application process. After several years of training and further redesigning of the system to better fit the needs of its local business owners, Castillejos can now take another proud step forward towards giving more efficient services.