9 September 2020 – The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) has now stepped in to hasten the implementation of R. A. 11234 or the Energy Virtual One Stop Shop (EVOSS) Act and called upon agencies who are yet to submit their reports on their streamlining efforts.

Last August 26, ARTA met with the Department of Energy (DOE) to discuss areas of collaboration in the implementation of EVOSS.

“The energy sector is a priority area for streamlining for the administration, thus the creation of the EVOSS is a direct effort towards that priority. This is also why the sector was included as one of the ARTA priority sector in its flagship program NEHEMIA. It only needs to have a stronger and concentrated push by all agencies concerned. ARTA can and will be helping a lot in giving the streamlining efforts in the energy Sector the extra push needed”, Director General Jeremiah Belgica said.

Notably, the EVOSS governs the permitting process for power generation, transmission, or distribution projects. ARTA and DOE has formed a Technical Working Group which will identify the issues in the implementation of EVOSS and which will work on ways to harmonize the provisions of the two laws and at the same time, avoid the overlapping of jurisdiction between the two agencies. It was also decided that ARTA will start joining the EVOSS Steering Committee meetings as a resource entity from hereon.

Following said meeting, Director General Belgica, in a letter sent out earlier today, asked the Department of Agriculture and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples to comply with Administrative Order 23 (AO 23) entitled “Eliminating Overregulation to Promote Efficiency of Government Processes” by submitting their Compliance Report to ARTA within a period of three working days from the receipt thereof.

The AO 23 which was issued by the President last 21 February 2020 directs all agencies covered by R.A. 11032 to submit their Compliance Report to ARTA, the deadline of which was on 25 July 2020. Among the agencies involved in the EVOSS, ARTA found that these two agencies are yet to submit their Compliance Report up to this date.

The Compliance Report should indicate the service information stipulated in the agency’s Citizen’s Charter and its adherence with the requirements of R.A. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business Law. ARTA had provided agencies with the guidelines for compliance to the administrative order through Memorandum Circular 2020-04 issued last June 8, 2020.

Per Section 5 of AO 23, failure to comply with the provisions of the administrative order “shall result to the filing of appropriate administrative cases pursuant to existing Civil Service Commission Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service, and other relevant laws, rules, and regulations”.

In the same letter sent today, the ARTA chief asked the two agencies to implement the Zero Backlog Program (under Section 1 Rule VI of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 11032) which mandates heads of agencies to devise programs aimed toward delivering fast, efficient, convenient service to the public.