Iloilo News & Events

OFFSITE PAYMENT CENTER: FINDING WAYS TO SERVE; Iloilo City Gov’t, SM partner to bring gov’t services closer to the Ilonggos

ILOILO City – Determined to make public services more accessible to people, the city government inaugurated at SM City Iloilo its fourth offsite payment center yesterday.

This is a testament to the strong public-private partnership in the city, particularly with SM, according to Mayor Jerry Treñas.

The offsite payment center is at the mall’s lower ground floor in front of Our Home and Storyland. It offers the following services:

* renewal of business permits

* assist applicants in the creation of an Integrated Business Permits and Licensing System (iBPLS) account; and

* assess and receive payment for real property tax

The following can also be secured from the offsite payment center:

* Community Tax Certificate or cedula

* Fire Safety Inspection Certificate

* sanitary permit

* tourism license

* boardinghouse permit; and

* internet / gaming center permit

Treñas thanked SM City Iloilo for waiving the rental fee for the space that the offsite payment center is occupying.

He also noted that the SM City offsite payment center is the biggest of the four offsite payment centers of the city government.

“I am very proud of this partnership. This is a very, very good development for Iloilo City,” said Treñas.

He further described SM as one of the “very strong” partners of Iloilo City.

“We have seen them support our Dinagyang. They are the biggest, single supporter of Dinagyang,” said Treñas.

The city mayor also cited the city government’s other partnership with SM such as the redevelopment of the city’s two biggest markets – the Iloilo Central and Terminal markets, and its housing program for low-salaried city hall employees.

For their part, SM Supermalls vice president for mall operations Michelle Leslie Llanos welcomed the city government’s move to open a payment center at SM City Iloilo. It is a valuable addition to the mall in the service of the public, she stressed.

“SM’s love language is service to all the Ilonggos. We continuously find ways to serve and make your day a little bit happier, and this means having everything you need and want in one big happy place – SM City Iloilo,” said Llanos.

The offsite payment center, she added, would be a big help, too, to SM City Iloilo’s tenant partners that are mostly micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“MSMEs are very close to our hearts. SM also started as an MSME 65 years ago. Hosting the city government’s offsite payment center is our way of assisting our MSME tenant partners – for their growth and the growth of the communities they are in,” Llanos said.

The city government’s Local Economic Development and Investment Promotion head Velma Lao hailed the good partnership of the city government with SM City Iloilo.

“The offsite payment center highlights the concept of public-private partnership; the government renders service to its constituents, while the private sector also contributes. SM City Iloilo has provided us a space rent-free. This is a great help to the city government,” said Lao.

The city government previously opened three offsite payment centers, thereby making things easier for people who cannot go to city hall to transact.

Lao said this initiative aims to digitize transactions by creating a system that is connected to the database at city hall. The ultimate goal, she said, is to make city government services more accessible and convenient, and make Iloilo a “digital and smart” city./PN

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