23 March 2021  –  Reforms to ease the doing of business in the country are starting to pay off with several government agencies telling the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) about the significant reduction in the processing time of their transactions.

The said improvements were specifically observed in some of the services of the Local Government of Quezon City and a number of National Government Agencies (NGAs) such as the following:

a. Availing of business permit at the Business Permitting and Licensing Office of the Local Government of Quezon City – from six to three working days;

b. Securing Building and Occupancy Permit at the Department of Building Official of the Local Government of Quezon City – from 120 to just 14 working days;

c. Registration for Certificate of Registration at the Securities and Exchange Commission – from 14 to four working days;

d. Application for Certificate of Registration the Bureau of Internal Revenue – from 17 to 15 working days; and,

e. Processing of certified true copies for e-titles at the Land Registration Authority kiosks in Quezon City and Dasmarinas – from four to two working days

These were reflected in the compliance reports they submitted to ARTA pursuant to Administrative Order (AO) 23 issued last 21 February 2020, which directed all government agencies covered by Republic Act (RA) 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business law to eliminate overregulation and to promote efficiency of government processes.

For its part, ARTA monitored and reviewed the reports and forwarded to the Office of the President (OP) its findings and recommendations last Friday, 19 March 2021, six months after the deadline of submission for the agencies.

Out of the 1,596 external services reviewed from 48 Compliance Reports of NGAs, 96.93 percent were found by ARTA to be within the prescribed processing time stated in RA 11032.

In the same report submitted to the OP, ARTA recommended incentivizing the use of online platforms, the waiver or suspension of fees for initial business registrations of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), start-ups, and those falling within the gig economy through the online systems and portals of local government units or NGAs certified or endorsed by ARTA.

Meanwhile, to address difficulties in mobility during national emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic, ARTA proposed the extension of validity of permits, licenses, and other government authorizations except for authorizations that may pose danger to public health and security.

ARTA also endorsed the issuance of Executive Orders and Joint Memorandum Circulars addressing the streamlining of services under the telecommunications, logistics, socialized housing, and energy sectors, which are also its targeted sectors for National Effort for the Harmonization of Efficiency Measures of Interrelated Agencies or NEHEMIA Program.