4 February 2021 – The Ease of Doing Business and Anti-Red Tape Advisory (EODB-ARTA) Council yesterday convened in a virtual meeting headed by Council Chairperson Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and Vice-Chairperson Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) chief Jeremiah Belgica.

Also present in the meeting were Council Members Department of Finance Usec. Gil Beltran, Department of Interior and Local Government Usec. Epimaco Densing, private sector representatives Mr. Peter Wallace and Mr. Allan Wong But Loy as well as Department of Information and Communications Technology Director Antonio Padre.

During the meeting, ARTA presented the draft Joint Memorandum Circular for the onboarding of trade regulatory government agencies to the TradeNet, the National Single Window System that will allow for the online processing of import and export permits.

The memorandum circular is in accordance with EODB-ARTA Council Resolution No. 12 which was approved by the Council on its previous meeting last December 2020. Said resolution mandates the onboarding of the 73 trade regulatory government agencies involved in issuance of license, permit, clearance, and certification for movement (import-export-transit) of cargo to the TradeNet on or before the second week of April.

Director General Jeremiah Belgica discussed with the Council ARTA’s findings from its surprise inspections of the Metro Manila LGUs’ business one-stop shops and of other government offices upon receiving reports on inefficiencies from concerned citizens. He also presented updates on the World Bank’s initial assessment of the country’s Doing Business reforms for the 2021 report which is set to be released by mid-March 2021.

ARTA also presented the workplan of the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) which is targeted for pilot implementation within the second and third quarter of 2021. Under Section 5 of Republic Act 11032, the Anti-Red Tape Authority shall coordinate with all government offices covered by said law in the review of existing laws, executive issuances, and local ordinances. All proposed regulations of government agencies shall undergo RIA to establish if the proposed regulation does not add undue regulatory burden and cost to these agencies and the applicants or requesting parties.

The Advisory Council will also be forming a task group that will be leading the conduct of the technical study for a mobile online portal initiative being proposed by ARTA, in partnership with MultiSys Technologies Corp. The said portal will be intended for use of Local Government Units for their business permit and licensing system or BPLS and other non-business transactions being offered to the public.