TAX COLLECTIONS at the local level exceeded P200 billion in 2022 following efforts to simplify business processes via digitalization, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said.

It added that its digitalization program has a 60% compliance rate among local government units (LGUs), with 921 cities and municipalities deemed digital-ready. Of these, 799 have adopted the National Government’s e-LGU system while the rest have their own systems, Secretary Benjamin de Castro Abalos, Jr. said at a Palace briefing.

Mr. Abalos said LGU tax collections had been P50 billion in 2018.

“It is really important to simplify the process (by going) digital,” he said.

He said the number of registered businesses nationwide rose to 4.4 million in 2022 from 1.5 million in 2018.

In Metro Manila, all LGUs have put up one-stop shops for business permits, Mr. Abalos noted.

He said 14 out 17 LGUs in the capital region have automated their systems and institutionalized online tax payment.

The e-LGU system, which was created by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), offers business licensing and local tax processing, among others.

At the same briefing, DICT Undersecretary David Almirol, Jr. said the government seeks to install more Wi-Fi sites at the local level to complement the e–LGU system.

About 25,000 free Wi-Fi sites were established last year, he said.

“There’s this pronouncement of the President that digital transformation is one of the keys to full economic recovery,” Mr. Abalos said, citing a Tuesday meeting with President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. at the Palace. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza