Mon. Jul 26th, 2021

MANILA – In a bid to promote efficiency in government processes, President Rodrigo Duterte has directed all state departments and offices to refrain from imposing excessive rules and regulations.

Under Administrative Order (AO) 23 signed on February 21 and released Thursday, all government offices and agencies, including local government units and government-owned and controlled corporations, are ordered to hasten the reform of their public transactions.

AO 23 instructed them to retain steps, procedures, and requirements that may be necessary to fulfill their legal mandates and policy objectives.

“All processes in excess thereof, including those which are redundant or burdensome to the public, shall be deemed manifestations of overregulation and shall be removed accordingly,” the order read.

Duterte signed the AO to live up to his promise to reduce bureaucratic red tape and expedite business and nonbusiness related transactions in government.

His new AO also states that the entirety of an agency’s processes for its public services would be subject to scrutiny, “from the most established and long-standing aspects thereof to the most recent.”

Imposing tedious and time-consuming regulations on socially beneficial activities would be targeted for reform because it would be “impossible or extremely difficult” to accomplish such rules, according to AO 23.

“Increasing competitiveness and the ease of doing business are pillars of this administration’s 10-point socio-economic agenda,” the AO said.

“Excessive regulations at all levels of government, which are more than necessary to implement their respective mandates, create high costs on businesses, inhibit job creation, and discourage private sector investment,” it added.

AO 23 also directs the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) to monitor and ensure compliance of all government agencies.

All state departments and offices are also mandated to submit a Compliance Report to ARTA 60 days after AO 23 takes effect.

The Compliance Report should contain the government agency’s list of regulations on its services offered to the public, particular procedures and processing times, legal basis for regulations, and relevant provisions of its Citizen’s Charter.

The ARTA is tasked to provide the Office of the Executive Secretary its findings and recommendations on the Compliance Reports submitted by all government agencies.

“Failure to comply with this Order shall result in the filing of appropriate administrative cases pursuant to the Civil Service Commission on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service, and other relevant laws, rules, and regulations,” AO 23 read.

All other executive issuances, rules, and regulations that are inconsistent with the provisions of AO 23 are deemed repealed, amended, or modified.

Should any provision of the AO be held unconstitutional or invalid, the provisions not affected by the order should “continue to be in full force or effect.”

AO 23 takes effect immediately. (ia/

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