5 June 2019
PHILIPPINES: Public Service Fees Set to Be Nationally Standardised
Local government bodies across the country must now ensure that any fees that they charge for public services are both reasonable and business-friendly. The requirement was outlined in a circular jointly-issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Finance (DoF), which makes it compulsory for Local Government Units (LGUs) to adopt standard procedures in line with either the Republic Act No.7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991, while also setting out the statutory fees for a range of public services, including the issuance of business permits.
Within 30 days, the DoF’s Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) is due to issue a local fees and charges tool kit, which will function as a cost schedule for any local official undertaking a fee review exercise. Overall, the moves have been seen as an attempt by the government to ensure local administrative bodies cover the costs of any public services they provide, while not compromising on efficiency or quality, as is required under the terms of the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.