The renewal of business permits is faster this year with the streamlining of the permitting process undertaken by the city Government with assistance from the Unites States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the INVEST Project. The improvements started in 2010 when the Business One Stop Shop (BOSS) was established also with the assistance of USAID. A third party assessment of the renewal process conducted in January 2012 and observations of model cities in business permitting provided the bases of the city’s action plan that lead to more significant improvements. The business permit can now be obtained within one hour (even less if the business applicant will avoid the peak days of the renewal period). It is clear that Cagayan de Oro even exceeds the standards set jointly by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the other partners of USAID’s Invest Project besides the City Government. But it is the intention of the city Government to meet world standards in 2014 with further automation of the process.
The Investment Enabling Environment (INVEST) Project is a two year initiative of the USAID to help attract more investments; particularly, in three cities: Batangas, Ilo-ilo, and Cagayan de Oro, by lowering transaction costs and reduce the cost of doing business and increasing their competitiveness as investment destinations.