Sun. Jun 20th, 2021

MANILA – ‘Red tape’ in key sectors of the government is seen to decline by half in a little more than a year through a program set to be launched by the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA).

In a statement on Monday, ARTA said it will soon launch Program NEHEMIA, a sectoral-based streamlining effort that would reduce time, cost, requirements, and procedures in key sectors by 52 percent within 52 weeks.

“Sectors included in the first phase of this inter-agency streamlining are Common Towers and Interconnectivity sector, the Housing sector, Food and Pharma sector, Logistics sector, and the Energy sector,” the statement read.

The announcement came after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s signing of Administrative Order 23 (A.O. 23) or “Eliminating Overregulation to Promote Efficiency of Government Process”.

ARTA thanked Duterte for A.O. 23 saying the order complements its Memorandum Circular 2020-02 (MC 2020-02) or the “Order of Automatic Approval or Automatic Extension of Pending Transactions Beyond the Prescribed Processing Time of 3-7-20 Working Days”.

The memorandum, signed on February 14, directed agencies under the influence of ARTA to conduct an inventory of all pending transactions that have gone over their suggested processing times and to “automatically approve or extend them as needed”.

It said that the A.O. 23 and the MC 2020-02 will both be used to eliminate the backlog of government transactions, expediting processes, and easing undue regulatory burden for the public.

“The release of A.O. 23 strengthens ARTA’s mandate to drastically improve government services and promote ease of doing business in the country. This shows our President’s commitment to give comfortable lives to the Filipino people,” ARTA said.

It added that government agencies found to have violated A.O. 23 or MC 2020-02 will face appropriate sanctions.

In the latter half of February, the ARTA announced it will conduct a joint audit of government agencies with the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) beginning March 7.

The PACC said the crackdown will include all government offices, both at the national and local levels, to ensure that the government complies with the “3-7-20” deadline imposed by the Ease of Doing Business law. (IAM/sovereignph.com/PNA)

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