NABUNTURAN, the capital of Davao de Oro province, has signed an agreement with Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) and systems provider Rameses Systems Office for an electronic payment scheme for business permits and other fees. Lucky Siegfred M. Balleque, Department of Trade and Industry-Davao de Oro provincial director, said the partnership was inked in November and the e-payment system is now being developed. The system, he said, will “help those who will renew their business permits because they will only need a good Internet connection and an account with LandBank so that they could pay the fees even without going to the BPLO (Business Permit and Licensing Office), provided their documents are in order.” The system will compute the applicant’s taxes, which can be deducted from the LandBank account. Two years ago, the municipal government also tapped Rameses Systems for the upgrade of its Enhanced Tax Revenue and Collection System, which was started in 2009 with support from the Australian Assistance for International Development. Mr. Balleque said it is hard for other municipalities of the province to develop a similar payment system “because of the unstable Internet connection.” He added, “We hope the providers will be able to upgrade their systems so that other LGUs (local government units) will be able to replicate this system.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Balleque said they are optimistic of attracting more businesses in the province with its recent name change to Davao de Oro from Compostela Valley. “We’ve been pushing for new investments in the province and that we hope the change of name will help us catch the attention of prospective investors,” he told BusinessWorld. He said the provincial government has continuously been facilitating business matching between locals and their counterparts, either from other parts of the country or foreign, abroad. Last year, the province received about P1.3 billion worth of new investment leads after the holding of a business forum. — Carmelito Q. Francisco