25 November 2020 –  The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) will be collaborating to streamline the process of availing food and cash assistance by disaster-stricken communities following the onslaught of typhoons Rolly and Ulysses.

In a virtual meeting yesterday, ARTA, DSWD, and DICT discussed ways to expedite the process of providing cash and food assistance to affected local government units (LGUs). Among others, the agencies are pushing for DSWD’s use of the Philippine National Public Key Infrastructure (PNPKI). The PNPKI ensures a secure exchange of data between parties online which can be used in place of wet signatures. It can also be used to encrypt data such as email or online transactions. This move is foreseen to make the processing of request for assistance by LGUs faster and simpler as the whole process could be completed securely online.

“We need to work hard and work fast in bringing the essential needs to our affected fellowmen. The pandemic has already put us in a difficult position, now disasters are adding more burden. That’s why it is crucial that processes in delivering assistance be free of red tape”, ARTA Director General Jeremiah Belgica implored.

ARTA-DSWD-DILG is also coming up with a streamlined strategy to improve the evaluation and assessment of relief distribution during calamity.

In a previous meeting with DSWD and DILG, the ARTA chief said that officials involved with delayed provisions of assistance shall be subject to investigation and that there will be a presumption of serious neglect of duty and grave misconduct which are both serious offenses for administrative cases to be filed with the Office of Ombudsman.