3 December 2019 – The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) effects two regulatory reform initiatives through the signing of a Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) yesterday, 2 December 2019.

Yesterday, ARTA Director General Jeremiah Belgica and Department of Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III signed a JMC entitled “Guidelines on the Regulatory Reform for LGUs pursuant to the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018”.

The said memorandum circular is signed to aid LGUs in reengineering their operations and procedures within the standards of the Ease of Doing Business Law through the provision of guidelines. These guidelines aim to improve the delivery of government services in the country by reviewing business and nonbusiness-related local ordinances, issuances, and resolutions and recommend the repeal, amendment, consolidations, or retention, as may be deemed necessary to eliminate undue burden.

“With the enactment of the Ease of Doing Business Law and with the signing of the JMC, streamlining is no longer optional. Rather, it is mandatory”, Director General Belgica said in his message during the event. Furthermore, he remarked that guidelines like those in the newly-signed JMC assure us that the changes that we only know and hear of in broad strokes could actually be realized in actuality.

Subsequently, in an event organized by the University of the Philippines Public Administration and Extension Services Foundation, Inc. (UPPAF) titled “Forging partnerships for Regulatory Reform”, Director General Belgica and Regulatory Reform Support Program for National Development (RESPOND) Project Chief of Party Dr. Enrico Basilio also signed an MOU between the two organizations for the RESPOND Project.

Project RESPOND is an initiative of the United States Agency for International Development which aims to provide assistance to the Philippines in improving its regulatory quality, enhancing competitiveness, and ultimately, contribute to an inclusive growth. Its overall goal is to foster a more open and competitive regulatory environment for greater trade and investment.

Even prior to Director General Belgica’s appointment, the support from RESPOND have been critical in the operationalization of ARTA as a government agency. With his appointment in July, ARTA and RESPOND are finally able to establish the partnership that has been months in the making through the signing of said MOU yesterday.

Furthermore, this initiative boosts the two organizations’ efforts toward the shared goal of strengthening regulatory capacity and governance in the Philippines.