TRADE SECRETARY Ramon M. Lopez said that expenses related to the closure of businesses should be reduced following complaints from companies.

The process for closing businesses should also be overhauled, he told One News Tuesday.

The current process for companies officially closing shop include seeking clearances from local government units and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), and making payments if they are found to owe them.

“There should be a review. We have to revisit the procedure ng closure. Wala na nga, nagko-close ‘yung business, bankrupt na (It’s hard to impose these measures on businesses that have gone bust),” Mr. Lopez said.

The fees add to the expenses of closing businesses, he added, including payments to employees.

“We’ll have to discuss this with the BIR kasi alam ko doon maraming kailangang i-settle (that is the area that requires many things to be settled).”

Around 10% of surveyed businesses were not operating last month, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), based on a survey with 33,145 respondents.

The percentage of closed businesses fluctuates as restrictions are loosened or tightened. Around 16% of 24,087 businesses had closed operations in May.

Mr. Lopez had said that owners of companies that have stopped operating during the pandemic often switch to more profitable ventures. 

Business name registrations at the DTI increased during the lockdowns. — Jenina P. Ibañez