22 April 2020 – In line with the President’s mandate to minimize regulatory measures during the ongoing state of calamity due to COVID-19, the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) issues Advisory 2 series of 2020 providing red tape reduction measures for government agencies in the creation
of their one-stop shops. This is also in compliance with the directive of the Inter-Agency Task Force for government agencies to work with ARTA. The advisory applies to all government agencies in the executive department, including Local Government Units and government-owned or –controlled corporations.

ARTA strongly recommends the establishment of one-stop shops for government services during this time of health crisis to effectively curb the risk of acquiring COVID-19 by minimizing the number of locations that the transacting public shall go to. The advisory lists guidelines and suggested measures for the effective implementation of such.

First, the advisory highlights the core of a physical one-stop shop that is the single window application system through which the applicant could submit all applications forms and documents in a single window only. The transaction shall be processed without the applicant having to do the routing of the documents himself, thus minimizing the number of steps and interaction.

The implementation of a full online application system is especially recommended as the most efficient alternative to on-site application procedures. The agencies shall maximize the use of their digital platforms for receipt of applications, payment, and releasing procedures. The Advisory suggests that assessments of the applications be performed digitally and original copies of registration documents be couriered to the applicant for a transaction fee.

The advisory also states that “Government agencies, for transactions that do not have a direct effect on public safety and public health, must embrace the concept of post-audit or post market verification in order to increase ease of doing business performance”.

To ensure that the regulatory functions of government agencies are efficient, ARTA requires the adoption of a whole-of-government regulatory framework. Government agencies, especially those that co-regulate, must assess the existing regulatory functions of each other and collaborate to expedite their services.

Further, government agencies are advised to strengthen data sharing and to maximize digital
communications.

“ARTA stands ready to assist government agencies that wishes to adopt these reform guidelines. During this trying time, it is our mandate that red tape shall be one less burden that the people need to worry about”, ARTA Director General Jeremiah Belgica said.

ARTA will be working with all government agencies to create the one-stop shops with priority on the permitting and logistics sectors. The full ARTA Advisory 2020-02 could be accessed through this the ARTA website.

Prior to the issuance of said advisory, ARTA, the Food and Drug Administration, and Bureau of Customs had also launched the Bayanihan One-Stop Shop, a single window and concierge for all government agencies involved in the importation of COVID-19 critical commodities.

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