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Gov’t permits office processes 11K+ online applications during lock-down

A month into the government-mandated island-wide lock-down and curfew to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Permits Management Office (OGPe, in Spanish) has processed 11,100 procedures for 46 products requested through the Single Business Portal.

Department of Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Manuel Laboy said of that total of approved applications, more than 3,800 correspond to Single Permits and 1,562 Unique Conditioned Permits. The OGPe is under the Department of Economic Development umbrella.

“These are the products in greatest demand in the OGPe and whose requests were submitted through the Single Business Portal,” Laboy said during a news conference at the Bureau for Emergency and Disaster Management called to provide updates on how different sectors are fending during the COVID-19 crisis.

The applications have been processes via remote work, implemented to give continuity to the government’s workflow, he said.

“The global economy is facing great changes and we’re committed to supporting our entrepreneurs in this process,” Laboy said.

Meanwhile, OGPe Deputy Secretary Gabriel Hernández-Rodríguez, said from Jan. 1, 2020 to mid-April, the office he heads has managed more than 17,000 online procedures.

Of those, more than 5,228 procedures correspond to the Single Permit process, of which 2,466 final permits and 2,087 Unique Conditional Permits were granted. Some 675 are waiting on additional documentation from the applicants.

 “Through the Conditional Single Permit, thousands of businesses received the necessary approval to start operating, while waiting for the inspections needed to grant the Single Permit,” Hernández-Rodríguez said.

“To move forward on the complete process that includes the inspection of businesses, we’re evaluating viable alternatives that help us continue this task, safeguarding the health and safety of our staff,” he said.

Meanwhile, Laboy said entrepreneurs may continue to conduct their procedures remotely through the Single Business Portal.

Hernández-Rodríguez confirmed that as a result of the extension of the lock-down through at least May 3, all public and administrative hearing programmed from April 16 to May 3 are suspended and will be rescheduled.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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