By John Noel E. Herrera
The Iloilo City Government opened another off-site payment center on the lower ground floor of SM City Iloilo on Tuesday, Feb 14, 2023.
Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas said the off-site payment centers in malls would make transactions with the public easier and more convenient.
Treñas added that it is also one way of bringing City Hall services closer to the people, as it is part of the city government’s vision to level-up public service for Ilonggos.
“It is in this light that we open off-site centers in malls for convenient payment transactions and to further bring the ease of doing business and make services accessible and more efficient,” Treñas said.
The payment centers would also cater to the renewal of business permits, assistance with the creation of Integrated Business Permits and Licensing System (iBPLS) accounts, assessment and payment of Real Property Tax (RPT), issuance of Community Tax Certificate or cedula, and other permit-related issuances, including Fire Safety Inspection Certificate (FSIC), Sanitary Permit, Tourism License, Boarding House, and IGCAPP permits.
The city government also lauded its public-private partnership with the mall, as SM City Iloilo always supports the plans of the city government, including the renovation of the Central and Terminal markets, and providing the city with free space for its payment center.
“It is a good partnership with SM City. The offsite payment centers highlight the concept of public-private partnership; the public gives its services to its constituents, while the private sector also contributes, as SM provides a space free of rent, which only requires paying the common use service area and electricity, which is a great help to the city government,” Local Economic Development and Investment Promotion (LEDIP) head Velma Lao also earlier said.
Michelle Leslie K. Llanos, SM Vice President for Mall Operations, said that the off-site payment center would add to the services that the mall could offer to the public, as it is “very valuable to our shoppers, and more so to our tenant partners, as the majority of them are micro, small, and medium enterprises who have limited time to go far to do business transactions.”
The City Hall has also opened off-site payment facilities opened in other establishments in the city.
The city government planned the establishment of off-site payment centers at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic by creating a system that is connected to the database in City Hall.
Iloilo City also adopted the new electronic Business Process Licensing System (eBPLS) to make business transactions faster, more efficient, and transparent.