10 November 2021 – Officials of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) and Philippine National Police (PNP) strengthened their partnership and the government’s fight against fixers and red tape through the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).
The Authority’s partnership with the national police is seen to bolster its enforcement function against fixers and erring government officials and personnel.
“The ARTA and the PNP recognize the need for a joint effort in implementing the mandate of Republic Act No. 11032 while maintaining peace and order and ensuring the safety of its implementors and the public, in general,” the MOA read.
Secretary Jeremiah Belgica, ARTA Director General, and PGen. Guillermo Eleazar, PNP chief, represented by PLtGen. Joselito Vera Cuz, PNP Deputy Chief for Administration, signed the MOA in a virtual ceremonial signing on Wednesday.
Under the agreement, the PNP will issue guidelines or a memorandum on the role of PNP field units relative to the MOA.
The guidelines will touch on police coordination, cooperation, and assistance in the implementation of Republic Act No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.
The agreement states that territorial units—or the municipal and city police stations, and provincial and regional police offices—will be the primary unit that will provide the Authority with assistance in entrapment operations. However, when the subjects of the operations involve criminal syndicates and organized crime groups, the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) would lead with timely coordination with territorial units.
The PNP will also provide security assistance for ARTA’s Central Office, Regional Offices, and officials while in their performance of their duties in coordination with the police.
It will also act on the Authority’s endorsements of police-related concerns and cases.
In exchange, the Authority will assist the PNP in its compliance requirements with R.A. 11032, including but not limited to the creation of their own Committee on Anti-Red Tape (CART) and the updating of its Citizens Charter.
It will also conduct capacity building seminars and training for regulatory management improvement.
ARTA will ensure the appearance of complainants and witnesses and the execution of their corresponding complaint affidavits during the investigation and prosecution of cases. The agency will also provide legal assistance to police personnel involved in their joint entrapment operations.
ARTA and PNP will also coordinate on future projects and programs to ensure efficient government service delivery to Filipinos.
Sec. Belgica thanked the PNP, under the leadership of PGen. Eleazar, for “giving importance” to the ARTA’s partnership with the police.
“Napakarami na ng ating nagawa sa paghuli sa mga fixers. Mayroon na pong mahigit 50 na mga fixer na napagtulungang hulihin ng government agencies at PNP. Marami pa po tayong pagsasamahan, and this will surely strengthen our campaign against red tape and corruption,” he said.
“Matagal at mahaba man po ang ating tatahakin, pero the with the noblest of government servants, ang mga kapulisan na araw-araw humaharap at hindi inaalintana ang mga pagsubok, tinitiyak po namin that the best days are ahead of us,” he added.
In a message read by PLt.Gen. Vera Cruz, PGen. Eleazar welcomed the PNP’s partnership with ARTA, saying that this will also improve the police’s delivery of service.
“Our partnership with ARTA best describes our further efforts in streamlining and ensure efficient delivery of government services. With this, the PNP will continue to pursue the ideals of the anti-red tape law in genuine desire to promote its provision among our ranks,” the message read.
“Ito ay indikasyon ng umiigting na hangarin na sugpuin ang kriminalidad sa bansa at palakasin ang kapabilidad na magserbisyo sa ating bansa,” it added.