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The Pasig City local government announced on Monday, Jan. 9, that it has passed an ordinance granting “special permits” for sari-sari stores and free sanitary permits and health certificates, according to a report by Manila Bulletin.

Pasig City Ordinance No. 54, series of 2022 states that “all sari-sari stores with annual gross sales or receipts of P250,000 or less, regardless if they sell liquor and/or tobacco products, shall exclusively be subject to the local taxation of the barangay concerned and will be issued with a Special Permit by the Business Permit and Licensing Department (BPLD).”

Sari-sari store owners need to apply with the BPLD and submit the following requirements for proper assessment: a duly accomplished unified application form, a front picture of the place of business, the owner’s government-issued ID, a sanitary permit, health certificate, and proof of selling food items with Sangkap Pinoy seal.

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Sari-sari stores in Pasig City must present their proof of selling food items with the Sangkap Pinoy seal within a year from the issuance of the special permit.

According to the ordinance, store owners may apply for the special permit only after their business has been retired.

They can proceed to the BPLD Admin Office at the second floor of the Pasig City Hall to process the retirement of their business and application for the special permit.

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Personnel from the BPLD will evaluate the submitted requirements, assessing their eligibility “based on start-up capital and/or gross sales and receipts.”

Sari-sari store owners whose applications will be approved by the BPLD can use the special permit in lieu of the business permit.

With the special permit, “applicable fees to secure a Sanitary Permit and Health Certificate shall be at no cost to the covered establishments, provided that they avail of the laboratory services from the City Health Department (CHD).”

The special permit will be valid for one year and must be posted prominently in the establishment.

The BPLD will conduct random inspections of the approved sari-sari stores during the year to maintain compliance with the ordinance.

Special permits will be cancelled if sari-sari stores are no longer eligible as per their annual gross sales or receipts. The store owner will be “subject to the taxes and charges applicable in the 2017 Pasig City Revenue Code.”

Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto said the ordinance will benefit small businesses and help the local economy thrive as the city gradually settles into the new normal and the economic sector bounces back from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It can also help secure the city’s overall public health by encouraging sari-sari store owners to seek regular assessments and check-ups for their health certificate, as well as monitor the compliance of store owners in selling items with nutritional value, he added.

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