In the six-month period between Dec. 1, 2010 and June 3, 2011, the Permits Management Office has received 23,112 permit applications online, of which 71 percent have been processed, the head of that agency said during a public hearing Tuesday.
About 5,292 of the total number of applications were granted the same day they were filed, said Edwin Irizarry-Lugo, executive director of the agency known as OGPe for its initials in Spanish.
“The Integrated Permits System, as promised, has done away with the bureaucracy of the permits process and we’ve seen the presentation of 23,112 applications quicker and in a single office,” Irizarry-Lugo said.
The information was released during a House Finance Committee budget hearing in which OGPe officials submitted a proposed $15.6 million budget for fiscal 2012, reflecting a 6 percent reduction from the prior year’s amount.
The online system launched Dec. 30, 2010 reportedly reduces the time it takes to complete a permit process to about two days, down from the months and sometimes years it would take for certain approvals to come through. The public now has online access to request building permits, certified and non-certified use permits, fire prevention certification, certification of environmental health, categorical exclusion, and pre-consultation documents. In total, more than 30 applications are available online, representing 80 percent of the OGPe’s annual application volume.
“The SIP has dramatically contributed to boosting Puerto Rico’s economic development, approving, so far, 15,278 permits and other paperwork with an associated investment of some $347 million in the economy and generating 24,785 jobs to be created,” he said.