Business & Leisure Column

Encouraging response

A couple of weeks back, I wrote in this column about the Philippine Red Tape Challenge, our take-off on the highly successful Britain's Red Tape Challenge. I wrote about how the Dept. of Trade under Sec. Mon Lopez and the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) under Co-Chairman Bill Luz are collaborating to cut red tape in the government offices. Where before, for instance, business permits and licenses took between eight to ten days to process and release due to the numerous signatures needed, the government is bent on simplifying the rules and regulations in the country to improve the ease of doing business in the Philippines. NCC and DTI promised to have these permits and licenses in two days. The bottom line, says Sec. Lopez, is to cut the red tape, period.


The British government has been very supportive of this program of the National Competitiveness Council and they have very kindly provided the model for it. British consultants have been commissioned to measure the effects of the Red Tape Challenge in terms of cost savings. If the program worked well for the British, it should work well enough for the Philippines. Eliminating several unnecessary steps should make life easier for the Filipino businessman and the promise is to do it before the year ends. For those who have not felt the change and are still bogged down by red tape in these government offices, DTI promises swift action. Call their hot line for complaints.


Apparently, the NCC has already gotten the ball rolling way before its self-imposed deadline and before heads start rolling in the pertinent government agencies. We have received a lot of good response from our readers, and we are reprinting some of them here.


Ms. Rahula Cueno writes, "I am a new businesswoman, not yet an entrepreneur. I applied for my business name with DTI, applied for registration with BIR and applied for mayor's permit with the Sta. Rosa City Hall. It took me less than 15 minutes to obtain my DTI Registration, less than a day for the Certificate of Registration with the BIR, despite the 4 forms I have to accomplish and also less than a day for the temporary Mayor's Permit (the final permit will be issued when my store opens and (is) inspected by the Bureau of Fire Protection. How is that? Mabuhay ang Pilipino"!


While Ms. Agnes Mabute has this to say, "Salamat po at naliwanagan din ang ating gobyerno. Matagal na hong pabigat ang lumang palakad sa mga upisina ng gobyerno. And anak ko ho ay nagsisimula rin pong mag-negosyo at naranasan na rin po nya ang malaking pagbabago sa mga agencia ng gobyerno. Wala pa hong tatlong araw ay natapos nya po ang mga papeles nya. Maraming salamat po sa bagong pamamalakad sa DTI. Salamat di po sa inyo, Mr. Gamboa, dahil isinulat nyo po ito para malaman ng ating mga kababayan. Mabuhay ka."


And Mr. Angelo Matinao writes, "Greetings! I am writing re your column of Oct. 22, How's Business. I am happy to inform you that I am a "victim" of this new protocol in the government. I was able to get my licenses and permits in three days for me and my wife's new business, and I couldn't believe it. In addition to this, the staff from the DTI to the Mayor's office were very efficient and helpful, a far cry from before when I would encounter lazy, incompetent and impolite government workers. Let's hope the DTI will be able to sustain this. Keep up the good work."


Thank you to our letter writers. It appears that doing business in the Philippines has improved a lot because of the focused efforts of the DTI and the NCC as can be gleaned from the response I got from some readers. The Philippine Red Tape Challenge seems to be working well. Hopefully, this will improve our national competitiveness and encourage foreign businesses to come to our shores. I also hope this keeps up. This column always strives to share the good news about the Philippines to our readers because there is still a lot to be thankful for. Love our country because it is the only one we have. Enough of doomsayers.


Mabuhay!!! Be proud to be a Filipino.


For comments and questions (email) sunshine.television@yahoo.com


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About the Author

Ray Butch Gamboa graduated from the College of Arts and Letters of the University of Sto. Tomas. It was a course that should have been preparatory to a law degree, but the call of broadcasting aborted his plans.

At the age of 16, while still a student, Butch tried his hand at disc jockeying, landing a job at Mareco Broadcasting Network's AM stations DZBM and DZLM. From there, Butch moved on with his illustrious career as a popular disc jockey, riding the airwaves of Bob Stewart's middle-of-the-road music at DZXX, and ending his disc jockeying career at ABS-CBN's DZYL and DZQL.

From there, he stayed on with ABS-CBN, covering live the proceedings at the Manila Stock Exchange and eventually entered into the world of television sales as an account manager for the premier channel of ABS-CBN Channel 2.

In the early 70's, at the outbreak of Martial Law, Butch was one of the thousands of professionals who woke up jobless when then President Marcos declared the new status of the nation. With the closure of ABS-CBN, Butch ventured into different fields outside of broadcast. He tried his hand and with ease and success at export (Costume jewelry), real estate (brokerage), and restaurants (fast food).

In 1987, after the revolution, with the broadcast industry back to its free state, and with its irresistible call ringing in his ears, Butch made his inevitable comeback and pioneered in a local motoring show, producing Motoring Today on Channel 4 and co-hosting with local motor sports' living legend Pocholo Ramirez.

After 4 years, he ventured into another pioneering format by producing and hosting Business & Leisure, which was originally aired on ABS-CBN's Channel 2. The format eventually espoused similar ones in other different channels. But the clones in due course faded away leaving the original staying on airing on Channel 4 and eventually on Shop TV on Sky Cable's Channel 13.

The following year, the pioneering spirit in Butch spurred him to produce another TV show, Race Weekend, also on Channel 4, covering circuit racing at the Subic International Raceway after the motor sport's hiatus of 17 years. But when similar shows with duplicated formats sprouted, he decided to give way and ended the program after a year, although still enjoying unparalleled viewership.

In 1998, when the local automotive industry was in a slump, Butch contributed his share to help the ailing industry by producing another popular motoring-related show, this time exclusive to the automobile and its industry—Auto Focus, which became a vehicle for local automotive assemblers and importers to showcase their products and dwell on the industry's latest technological developments.

In 2003, Butch teamed up with his brother, Rey Gamboa who was a former Shell executive and presently one Philippine Star's business columnist to co-produce and co-host the TV show Breaking Barriers on Channel 13. It is a talk show that features guests who are in the news and in the middle of controversies. The program ventures to draw deeper insights into current issues to learn how they impact to our daily lives.

Today, Motoring Today on its 28th year of service to the general motoring public still enjoys its unprecedented loyal vierwership nationwide while Auto Focus, after 16 years has firmly established its niche viewership among automobile enthusiasts and on the other hand Business & Leisure is on its 24th year dishing out current business issues and lifestyle features.

Today, aside from writing weekly columns for the Philippine Star (Motoring Today on Wednesdays and Business & Leisure on Saturdays) and executive producer / host of weekly TV shows (Motoring Today, airs Sundays on Solar Sports Channel 70, Business & Leisure, airs Tuesdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13 and Auto Focus airs Thursdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13, Ray Butch Gamboa is currently the Chairman and CEO of Sunshine Television Production and Marketing Services Corp., President of Gamcor Management and Development Corp., Chairman of Asia-Pacific Realty Corporation, President and Chairman of Socio-Communication Foundation for Asia and Founding Chairman of the Society of Phil. Motoring Journalists (SPMJ)