By: Cathy Cruz
GAPS happens in any government system but the clearer picture is we correct or do something with the gaps to improve the system, our service to the constituents of Quezon City. This is the opening message of a San Beda graduate and now the Chief of Quezon City Business Permits and Licensing Office Garry DC. Domingo.
In an exclusive interview, Domingo said that the untoward incident on Henry’s Funeral Parlor became the eye opener of the local government officials of Quezon City particularly those departments involved in the issuance of permits such as BPLO, Health Department, Building Official and Fire Department to do their respective functions collaboratively.
He said that Quezon City is a very big city, it is ¼ of Metro Manila and equivalent to 10 times of Pasay City or 6 times of Makati.
To date, Quezon City has around 69,000 active business establishments with 38 plantilla position inspectors out of the 80 plus employees of BPLO. More than the initial data showed by Domingo, he said that there are certain laws and policies that prohibits their inspectors to continuously conduct inspection to business establishments, either by law, because of climate change and shortage of permanent inspectors of their office.
BPLO chief clarified that the inspectors are continuously inspecting business establishments all year round except during renewal months, Christmas season and typhoon signals. Most of the 38 inspectors are nearly to retire that it sometimes hamper to do inspection during summer months. For the meantime, he impose the 1 is to 3 inspection team. 1 permanent employee which will be the forefront in inspection activity and 3 contractual employees to assists the team leader.
Garry Domingo who is also a Quezon City resident said that it is important that people are active and report complaints, because this is the way their inspectors prioritize their work. He reminded that the local government provided a hotline 24/7, it is call QC 122. It is not just for emergency but also for complaints that needs to be acted urgently. Aside from that, all offices of Quezon City Hall has a suggestion or complaint boxes where they can drop their complaints, suggestions or commendation consolidated daily.
During the 7th State of the City Address of Mayor Herbert M. Bautista of the 20th City Council, Bautista proudly mentioned that in July 2016, Quezon City was declared Most Competitive City in the Philippines out of the 1,389 local governments of the country in terms of infrastructure, government efficiency and economic dynamism. Also, in October 13, 2016 the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry recognized Quezon City as the Most Business Friendly City of all Category 1 or highly urbanized cities of the Philippines. These recognitions received by the local government of Quezon City for Domingo believes that they are on the right track and that they are doing their job seriously, efficiently and effectively. Nevertheless, he said that the system is not perfect, they are also not perfect as human but they are willing to correct and improve their services and the system.
At present, the local government of Quezon City formed a joint effort of the Business Permits and Licensing Office, Health Department, Civil Registrar’s Office and Building Official to look into all small funeral parlors in Quezon City especially those funeral parlors who applied as office operation or show room only. This is the very reason why funeral parlors escaped from inspection, like Henry’s Funeral Parlor. Being in a residential area is somehow the reason of not being inspected regularly despite their permit was until December 2015 only. Its business permit was 16 years ago already and it’s only now that they were unable to renew their due to sanitary code violation.
Today, BPLO Chief and Health Department Chief Dra. Linga has a close collaboration on inspecting around 120-130 small funeral parlors in Quezon City, in La Loma area alone there are an estimate of not more than 10 small funeral parlors. On the other hand, Domingo disclosed that Dra. Linga of Health Department is worried of the nearby “lechonan” business which may be affected and infected by the Henry Funeral Parlor incident.
Domingo said that BPLO, whose main function is to issue a permit, will release the permit in a matter of minutes, to make it easy on the residents. This is the reason why they are asking the help of the Quezon City constituents to call their attention. If they knew of unscrupulous people or problematic situations coming their way, report or call, so that they can take necessary action, and the worst they will do is close down the business establishment if there are violations as mandated by law.
“Panawagan lang po sa taumbayan, you help us. Ang hinihingi naming pang-unawa at tulong. Huwag na sa amin. Pagmamahal na lang nyo sa Quezon City. We all live here, kung maghahanap lang kayo ng diperensya, it doesn’t help us it doesn’t help me,” Gary Domingo said in his closing statement.