In Marikina City, you must register even your small business with the City Hall or face the risk of being shamed in the public eye. The photo you see above is about a small internet cafe (5 computer units) in our compound that was closed by the city government for the mere reason that it had no business permit. As a penalty, the business owner must pay the amount of P5,000.00.
I have mixed reactions to this circumstance. Strictly speaking, any citizen must follow the rules, without which chaos would rule the community. My mother-in-law sacrificed the amount of money she had to shell out in registering her sari-sari store, aside from paying annual business tax and related taxes just to go on with her enterprise without any legal hassle. Perhaps there are three reasons why some citizens don’t follow the rules. One, they simply do not know about them. Two, the business registration process takes very long and/or registration fee is very high. Three, they prefer not to follow the rules of the government under the leadership of a person they dislike, for whatever reasons.
Likewise, I cannot accept the policy of the city government that every business that fails to get registered will be shamed like this. The fact that her business has been closed down and she must pay the penalty should be enough to make her realize her violation and make mends. I know the reason why government is doing it, of course: So that others may know and follow the rules. Still, I don’t buy that reason. I don’t favor using the fault of some citizens to educate the others. There are other ways to do so. Besides, what are the barangays set up for?
After all, what the government should focus on is how to promote entrepreneurship among Marikiños and Marikiñas. Surely, the way it handles violations is no good way to do so.