13 July 2022 – The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) urged truckers and ports nationwide to use the Unified Logistics Pass, a unified Quick Response (QR) code that facilitates the unhampered movement of trucks for hire delivering basic goods and necessities.

This, as the agency turned over the said system to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on 28 June 2022 to support the continuous development of the system being the lead key implementing agency and regulator of trucks.

Recently, the Department of Science and Technology–National Capital Region (DOST-NCR) turned over 250 mobile scanners and 344 power banks to the LTFRB in support of the pilot implementation of the program, which was created by Developers Connect Philippines (DEVCON).

During the turnover ceremony, ARTA Officer-in-Charge and Undersecretary Ernesto V. Perez stressed that streamlining processes in the Logistics sector is one way to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the Russia-Ukraine conflict on the Philippine economy.

“We are all victims of the rising prices of gasoline so, the least thing that we can do is to make it smoother, easier, and faster for truckers to travel simply from the point of entry to the point of exit,” he said.

“That is the least thing that we can do to assist the Logistics sector to increase productivity and competitiveness and enhance our recovery from the pandemic situation,” he added.

The ULP aims to eliminate the varying and separate pass-through stickers being required by economic zones, ports, and local government units (LGUs) to allow easier movement and ease port-entry restrictions for trucks.

In January 2022, ARTA, together with several key agencies, ports, and private stakeholders signed a Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) and Memorandum of Agreement ( MOA ) on the ULP’s pilot implementation.

The ULP is in line with ARTA’s flagship National Effort for the Harmonization of Efficient Measures of Inter-related Agencies (NEHEMIA) Program, which aims to reduce the time, costs, and requirements or procedures of government services in five priority sectors by 52 percent in 52 weeks.

Logistics was listed among the NEHEMIA Program’s five priority sectors, along with Telco, Food and Pharma, Housing, and Energy.

ARTA Usec. Perez noted that there are certain ports that refuse to utilize the ULP system even when it comes at no cost to the government and the appropriate training to be facilitated by ARTA under a whole-of-nation approach.

Ariel M. Marace, Information Technology Officer III of the LTFRB, thanked ARTA for its streamlining efforts and encouraged all truckers and ports to cooperate for the successful implementation of the ULP.

“Ang ULP ay hindi magiging posible, successful kung wala ang partisipasyon ng mga ahensya, lalong lalo na ang ARTA,” he said.

“Kami po ay humihingi rin ng kooperasyon sa ating mga truckers, lalo na po sa ating mga ports, na sana po itaguyod talaga natin ang proyektong ito. Lalo na ngayong masyado tayong nahihirapan, una sa pandemya, pangalawa sa giyera na dinadanas natin ngayon,” he added.

Undersecretary Carlos F. Quita, Deputy Director General for Administration, Finance, and Special Programs also called on government agencies and ports to follow through with their commitment to helping fight red tape by taking action.

“Hearing the commitment of our partners, the commitment of our various speakers earlier is very heartwarming, but this commitment must be translated into actions,” he said.

Trucking companies can get the said pass when they apply for a Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) from the LTFRB and/or when they apply for accreditation/registration with special economic zones.

Through a unified application form with the LTFRB, trucking companies will be able to simultaneously apply for accreditation with port authorities and/or special economic zones, among others. Payment of fees for the accreditation or registration with different entities shall also be made under a single window or through a business one-stop shop.

Once approved, they will be given a QR Code which can be easily scanned by different government authorities including port authorities, special economic zones, and LGUs.

ARTA took cue from the successful implementation of the RapidPass system led by the DICT.

The LTFRB, Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Philippine Economic Zone and Authority (PEZA), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Clark Development Corporation (CDC), and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) were among the agencies that signed the MOA and JMC.

Other signatory agencies and groups include the DEVCON, and University of the Philippines Public Administration Research and Extension Services-Regulatory Reform Support Program for National Development (UPPAF-RESPOND).