25 March 2020 – In his address to the nation yesterday with regard to the Enhanced Community Quarantine in effect over the whole of Luzon, President Rodrigo Duterte expressed discontent on the delivery of crucial government services which are being hampered by red tape during this time of crisis. Accordingly, the President pronounced, “Kailangan pagpasok ng papel, process mo kaagad. I-linya mo yung – you line up the tables where the paper should go one after the other para madali. Cut red tapes. I do not want red tape”.

In concordance, the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) recognizes that the need to deliver government services in a timely and effective manner, particularly to critical sectors, has become paramount as the whole country unites to fight the spread of the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19).

Earlier today, ARTA issued Advisory No. 01 Series of 2020, an advisory for the adoption of fast-track measures during the COVID-19 state of calamity, which applies to all government agencies in the executive department including Local Government Units and government-owned or -controlled
corporations. The document lists suggested measures and tools that the covered agencies could adopt in their respective procedures and documentary requirements, consistent with the policies of R.A. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, R.A. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, and the recent pronouncements of the President.

The advisory suggests the extensions of the validity of permits, licenses, certifications and other similar authorizations that are expiring within the period of State of National Emergency; accepting of applications, submissions of documents, and approvals of such via e-mail or online platforms; suspension of notarization requirement, unless required by law; reduction of signatories and requirements; adoption of the whole-of-government approach; online payment schemes, or considering waiver or deferment of payments.

Lastly, the advisory reminds that government agencies are required to furnish the University of the Philippines – Office of National Administrative Register (UP-ONAR) copies of their regulations to give legal effect thereto. Thus, it is requested that government agencies electronically forward copies of their issuances, including those which were previously issued, to the UP-ONAR at onar_law.upd@up.edu.ph.

“We would like to remind all agencies to adopt a zero red-tape policy, especially in this emergency situation during which red tape literally kills. To deliberately commit red tape at this time of global emergency is unforgivable”, Director General Jeremiah Belgica said.

ARTA also encourages the public to continue to submit red-tape related complaints thru complaints@arta.gov.ph as the agency carries on with its complaints processing function during this time of crisis.