4 December 2020 –  In line with its National Effort for Harmonization of Efficient Measures of Inter-related Agencies (NEHEMIA) Program for the Housing Sector, the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) is pushing for the streamlining of the permitting process for socialized housing development.

Based on previous meetings with different government agencies and with the private sector, ARTA identified that one of the causes of delay in the housing development process is the silo system of operation with regards to the issuance of requirements, certification, and permits. This kind of system passes the burden to the applicants who, in effect, are being forced to go back and forth to different government agencies to complete their application.

According to Director General Jeremiah Belgica, “One important thing to do is to harmonize the requirements of all involved agencies. With the passage of R.A. 11032, we are to look at the process in a whole-of-government perspective – to break the silo System”.

To avoid redundancies in acquiring housing permits, ARTA also reminds all local government units (LGUs) to strictly follow their respective Comprehensive Land Use Plans (CLUP). This is in accordance with the Local Government Code of 1991 which asserts that the CLUP enacted through zoning ordinances shall be the primary basis for the future use of the LGU’s land resources. In view of this, Director General Belgica reiterated that the CLUP “shall be the indicative document for all government agencies involved in housing permits to follow”.

Further, ARTA is now in close coordination with the Office of the Cabinet Secretariat as the chair of the Inter Agency Task Force for the Unified Implementation and Monitoring of Rehabilitation and Recovery Projects and Programs in the Yolanda-affected Area. It will be closely monitoring the government agencies involved with the issuance of permits and licenses for the Yolanda housing projects to ensure their compliance with the 3-7-20 prescribed processing times and the application of automatic approval for pending permits beyond the said period with complete documents and fees.

“We reiterate our stance to our agencies: make your processes easier. A home is a basic need and it is unfortunate that many of our kababayans now, amidst this pandemic and with the onslaught of the recent typhoons, do not have a decent one or have none at all. Let us work together and serve the people. Red tape must have no place in the government”, implored the ARTA chief.

The NEHEMIA Program is ARTA’s flagship program for inter-agency streamlining which aims to reduce the processes, requirements, and processing time by 52% for each priority sector, the housing sector being one of the five sectors identified.

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Read also: ARTA launches NEHEMIA Housing Sector, aims to cut housing application process, cost, and time by 52%