23 March 2021 – The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) is forming an inter-agency task force for the speedy release of death benefit claims of widows of uniformed personnel with Deputy Director General for Finance and Administration Carlos Quita as the head.

The said task force will be joined by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The Office of the Ombudsman, the Philippine Statistics Authority, and the National Police Commission, among others, will also be invited to be part of it.

This move by the ARTA is in response to the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to fast-track the processing of death benefit claims entitled to spouses of deceased soldiers and cops.

“Ang practice kasi ang mga byuda pupunta pa dito sa Krame. Ewan ko if this is still being the practice now but if it is still the practice, I am ordering you to cut it now,” President Duterte said in his weekly public address last night, 22 March 2021, noting about a government official found guilty of grave misconduct for extorting money from a claimant to facilitate the processing of an application for death benefits pending in his office.

While awaiting the creation of the task force, ARTA has already set up an email, afppnpclaims@arta.gov.ph, where claimants may direct their issues regarding the matter to be addressed by a special ARTA task force.

The anti-red tape body is also working on bringing the processing of claims closer to the beneficiaries by coordinating with the concerned agencies to help them set up a one-stop shop in the regions and localities. It will also be looking at the possibility of automating systems to expedite it even further just like what is already being done in the application of business permits.

ARTA, the agency implementing Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business law, is mandated to improve the service delivery of government agencies, including the shortening of processing times of government transactions.