10 March 2022 – Secretary Jeremiah B. Belgica, Director General of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), warned that branches of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) that refuse to comply with the agency’s streamlining reforms may face administrative and criminal sanctions.

This, after ARTA received reports about some PSA branches who have yet to implement the agency’s recommendations in the PSA’s guidelines for securing a Certificate for Registration of the Authority to Solemnize Marriage (CRASM).

“We have had very fruitful and productive discussions with the Philippine Statistics Authority in streamlining their processes. I personally would like to commend PSA Undersecretary Dennis Mapa for his willingness to make the delivery of their services more efficient for the Filipino public,” the ARTA chief said.

“However, there are some branches that are yet to comply with the streamlining initiatives that we have implemented. For these branches, we want to stress that we do not relish cracking the whip on our fellow public servants, but we are not afraid to proceed with this when it is necessary,” he warned.

The Authority’s recommendations were formally adopted by the PSA in its Amended Administrative Order No. 1, Series of 2021 on the 2021 Implementing Rules and Regulations Governing the Registration of Authority to Solemnize Marriages on 14 December 2021.

The PSA adopted ARTA’s recommendations on securing a CRASM and a Certificate of Foundling after several inter-agency meetings together.

Upon the Authority’s suggestion, the PSA removed the required list of 200 bonafide active members with their complete addresses and signatures for securing a CRASM.

It also removed the sworn statement containing the brief history of the religion or religious sect and the certified Certificate of Registration, Articles of Incorporation and by-laws, and updated General Information Sheet issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from the list of requirements.

In a letter to ARTA, PSA assured that their issuances were published in hard copy and properly disseminated to their branches even they are yet to be posted online.

It also said that the implementation date of A.O. 1, s. 2021 was on 15 February 2022. The PSA will also be holding trainings on its implementation on March and April 2022.