28 February 2022 – The Ease of Doing Business and Anti-Red Tape (EODB-ART) Advisory Council adopted and endorsed the Memorandum Circular on the Zero Backlog Report on 23 February 2022.

Secretary Jeremiah B. Belgica, Director General of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), moved for the adoption and endorsement of the MC a few days before the kickoff of the weeklong 3-7-20 event which carries the theme “Zero Backlog Policy, Paigtingin! 3-7-20, Laging Sundin!”

All government agencies are mandated to implement a Zero Backlog Program as stated in the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018. This is in furtherance of their responsibility to render fast, efficient, convenient, and reliable service.

ARTA Sec. Belgica said government agencies will be able to comply with the Zero Backlog Program by subscribing to the prescribed processing time which is also stated in R.A. 11032.

According to the law, simple transactions should be processed within three days, complex transactions in seven days, and highly technical transactions in 20 days.

“We want these policies in place not because we are forcing government agencies to approve all the applications and requests that are submitted before their offices, but because we want them to act on all of the applications and avoid the risk of accumulating backlogs,” the ARTA chief said.

“I have always said it is better to have a denied application than one that is sat upon. Because a denied application has remedies while an application that is not acted upon is in a perpetual bureaucratic limbo,” he added.

The newly adopted issuance aims to provide guidelines on automatic approval and automatic extension of license, clearance, permit, certification, and authorization.

It also aims to establish the annual 3-7-20 Day on March 7, which will be the day of assessment for the agencies’ pending transactions and the deadline of submission of their Zero Backlog Report or Plan.

The report from government agencies will include an inventory of all its pending simple, complex, and highly technical transactions.

To further ensure their compliance, ARTA will be conducting random monitoring of government agencies.

EODB-ART Chairman and Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez endorsed the said issuance during the 18th Advisory Council Meeting.

The weeklong 3-7-20 event begins on Monday, February 28, 2022. In the week leading to 7 March 2022, ARTA will hold its Kapihan sa ARTA, present the salient features of the proposed Memorandum Circular on the Zero Backlog Policy to stakeholders, launch its new public information show, and conduct meetings with selected priority agencies.