31 May 2022 – The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) and members of the New Zealand government are mulling the establishment of creative laboratories in the Philippines.

These will be inspired by New Zealand’s Creative HQ, the leading provider of structured innovation programs for startups, corporates, and government.

Secretary Jeremiah B. Belgica, ARTA Director General, reiterated this proposal during a follow up meeting with members of the New Zealand government, led by New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines Peter Kell.

The establishment of the creative laboratories was among the ways forward initially discussed during the visit of Amb. Kell to the ARTA main office on 21 April 2022.

Amb. Kell said he wanted to visit ARTA to personally thank its management for their various collaborations before the end of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s term.

In September 2021, ARTA and the New Zealand government signed an agreement to strengthen their relations and boost their efforts in the fields of ease of doing business and public sector efficiency.

The partnership was forged through the New Zealand Government to Government (G2G) Partnerships, Limited, an organization that connects governments from other countries to the New Zealand public sector to share its knowledge and expertise.

A total of 21 ARTA personnel are also enrolled in the Creative HQ’s T7 Masterclass, where they are trained on innovation tools and methodologies, as well as modern project management, to help them deliver public services more efficiently and modernize the public sector while developing novel solutions to real-world challenges.

The enrolled personnel may be tapped to serve as facilitators during the initial run of the creative laboratories, ARTA Sec. Belgica said.

“In the face of a transition in government, I wanted to personally thank you all and discuss, as what the DG said, what steps can we take to ensure that this project will continue to run smoothly and efficiently,” Amb. Kell said.

“We in New Zealand are in a journey, too, and we don’t have all the answers. We are in a position to share more about what we learned. Through this partnership, we, too, will learn from you. This is a two-way street. We’re delighted and privileged to be able to do this together,” he added.

ARTA Sec. Belgica thanked the New Zealand government and said that the lessons that they are imparting to the agency “will have a multiplier effect once they are disseminated” to other government agencies, local government units, and other government partners.

“The country is sincerely grateful for the support and assistance provided that New Zealand has provided under the helm of Ambassador Peter Kell. It enables ARTA to continue our efforts in creating a culture of innovation in the public sector,” he said.

“We hope that this partnership will continue as it strengthens and reinforces the reforms that we have been pushing for in the Philippine government with regard to e-governance, regulatory management, data-sharing across government agencies, and many more which will bring to the welfare and prosperity of both current and future generations,” he added.

During Amb. Kell’s visit, Sec. Belgica was joined by his top management namely Undersecretary Carlos F. Quita, Chief-of-Staff and Deputy Director General for Administration, Finance, and Special Programs; Undersecretary Ernesto V. Perez, Deputy Director General for Operations; and Undersecretary Eduardo V. Bringas, Deputy Director General for Legal.