The Quezon City government called on the public not to patronize fixers or individuals who offer to reserve or sell their appointment slots for securing business permits as these are scams.

Mayor Joy Belmonte issued the warning after the city’s Business Permits and Licensing Department (BPLD) noticed that thousands of appointment slots were secured by at least only 10 individuals.

“Wala pong bayad ang appointment system para sa inyong business permit. Please do not transact with fixers who promise to make the process easier for you. Our system is already easy enough, you just have to log in to our QC E-Services Website,” said Belmonte.

“We will not let opportunists interfere with our online services which do not only provide an efficient option but it also safeguards our transacting public from the coronavirus,” she added.

According to Belmonte, the investigation led by the BPLD revealed that there was a group of individuals who used at least 10 email addresses to secure around 1,000 appointment slots each and spread until end of May, leaving no chance for other business owners to secure a slot for themselves.

Meanwhile, BPLD Chief Margarita Santos said the department have improved its website interface to make the navigation simpler and easier for its users.

Likewise, they added a security feature in their website which will help detect if multiple slots have been secured by a single email address.

“We will be rebooting our system by March 1. By then, our system will allow the use of an email address only once at a time. And if the user of the said email address failed to show up on his/her date of appointment thrice, then that email address will be blocked,” Santos said.

Business owners who will be claiming processed business permits but are not able to get an in-person appointment are also encouraged to have the document delivered instead.

“We advise that they book a courier service of their choice and have their permits picked-up from our office. This will definitely cost them much less than paying and buying appointment slots from fixers,” said Santos.

She added that further reforms such as free delivery and issuance of temporary electronic copy of business permit will be made in the near future for the benefit of the city’s businesses.