ARTA gives government agencies until December 6 to submit better citizen’s charter

Maris Federez   •   September 12, 2019   •   355

The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) has ordered all government agencies to submit to its office a revised citizen’s charter and has set the deadline for it on December 6.

According to ARTA Director-General Jeremiah Belgica, the processes in the new citizen’s charter of each government agency must be streamlined, in accordance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive for an orderly and fast-tracked transaction in government service.

“Minsan, si Mr. head of the agency, nagising lang isang araw, naisip na, ‘Dagdagan ko kaya ang requirements, dagdagan ko kaya ang fees?’ Wala man lang public consultation. Bawal po ‘yan [Sometimes, this head of agency would wake up one day and think, ‘I should add more requirements, or fees.” Without any public consultation. That is prohibited],” said ARTA Director General, Atty. Jeremiah Belgica.

According to Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business Act, the citizen’s charter is the standard or official list of services and processes that a certain government agency provides to the public.

These include a step-by-step process of every transaction and the fees corresponding to it.

Belgica added that the ARTA is also set to conduct a probe on all transaction fees that government agencies implement.

The official said they had been receiving information that several government agencies are imposing exorbitant fees for the documents they release.

Belgica appeals to the public to report to the ARTA government employees who will disregard their citizen’s charter.

RA 11032 provides that simple transactions in government offices must not take longer than three days; while processing of complex transactions must only take up to seven working days; and highly technical ones must not exceed 20 days processing period.

“Comply, comply, comply, comply. Huwag niyong dadagdagan. Pag dinagdagan niyo yan, red tape ‘yan. Sisiguraduhin po namin na kayo po ay hindi na ho kayo makakabalik sa inyong trabaho [No more extensions. If you extend, that’s red tape already. We will make sure that you will never be able to return to work],” warned Belgica. (from the report of Harlene Delgado) /mbmf

3 gov’t agencies in ARTA’s priority list for red-tape

Robie de Guzman   •   October 16, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – At least three government agencies are in the list of “priority” agencies of Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) that need their immediate attention due to red tape.

ARTA director-general Jeremiah Belgica said the agencies they are setting their sights on are the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Land Registration Authority (LRA).

Belgica said these offices are being focused on due to complaints, investigation results and confidential information.

He added that these agencies need reforms to make their transactions faster and less tedious.

“Nakita talaga natin na they really need to shape up because there’s really red tape inside these agencies,” he told reporters in an economic briefing Wednesday.

However, Belgica clarified that they are yet to thoroughly probe other agencies for red tape, adding that the body has only been investigating for over three months.

ARTA was created through Republic Act 11032, which was signed in May 2018.

It is mandated to ensure effective implementation of the law which is intended to remove red tape in government agencies and ensure the delivery of efficient services.

He also warned other agencies to implement needed reforms because some of them could be worse than the LTFRB, the FDA and the LRA.

“If we would say na they’re the most, marami pa ho kasing mga agencies na hindi pa natin na-thoroughly investigate,” Belgica said.

Meanwhile, ARTA revealed it is set to file a case before the Office of the Ombudsman against a provincial governor on Thursday for allegedly violating the Ease of Doing Business Act or the law that aims for optimal government transactions.

Belgica said the official was accused of delaying the release and processing of permits for some unknown personal reasons.

He, however, refused to divulge any more details including the name of the governor.

The ARTA chief said that since he assumed office in July this year, the agency has already filed cases against seven errant government employees and officials.

Belgica added they are also planning to conduct a weekly filing of cases against government officials who defy the administration’s order to deliver efficient government service and promote ease of doing business.

Belgica said violators of the Anti-Red Tape Act and Ease of Doing Business Act may face penalties as provided for in the law.

On the first offense, violators may face six months suspension while the second offense may mete out dismissal from service, permanent disqualification from holding public office, imprisonment of one up to six years and a fine of P500,000 up to P1 million. – RRD (with details from Rosalie Coz)

DTI aims for ‘Smarter Entrepreneurs’ for Phl

Maris Federez   •   July 16, 2019

Several business entrepreneurs on Tuesday (July 16) have joined the National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Summit conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)

The summit aims to help small entrepreneurs on their businesses and to be “Smarter Entrepreneurs”.

The latest record of the DTI shows that the country has produced more than 900,000 MSMEs which have provided jobs to up to five million Filipinos.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s common-law wife Cielito “Honeylet” Avanceña graced the event and reminisced the time when she was still a struggling businesswoman.

“I’ve been with a donut company — franchisee of a donut company for almost 22 years. Kahit na ho pakonti-konti ‘yan [Even though it was just small], 22 years (have) provided you of, you know, a decent living. Mabili mo ‘yung gusto ng anak mo. Makapaglagay ka ng pagkain sa lamesa sa pamilya mo [You can buy what your child wants. You can put food on the table for your family],” Avanceña recalled.

 “I don’t have to call my husband: ‘OK, can I buy this?’,” she added.

Meanwhile, the DTI hopes that the implementation of Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business Act will help boost the small entrepreneurs in the country.

The President signed the law last year with the aim of curbing red tape in the bureaucracy.

Under the law, simple business applications must be processed within three days. A complex business application must be completed in seven days, while applications which are rather technical should only take 20-days processing time.

The law’s Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) is expected to be signed in the very near future.

DTI chief, Sec. Ramon Lopez, has also urged the public to report to the anti-red tape authority any government personnel who will violate the said law.

“Assured ‘yung mga kababayan natin na matatakbuhan sila kapag nade-delay ‘yung mga application nila. So, pwede silang mag-complain [Our countrymen are assured that they have someone to go to when there is a delay on their application. They can file a complaint],” said Lopez.

The agency is also mulling over coming up with a “One Step” Business Registration to ease the processing of applications for a license to operate.  (with reports from Harlene Delgado) /mbmf

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