05 June 2020 – The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) is holding meetings with the Bureau of Internal revenue (BIR), Land Registration Authority (LRA), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Social Security System (SSS), and Pag-IBIG to discuss the reforms and initiatives undertaken by the said agencies to improve their service delivery, a year after being named by President Duterte as the five “most complained agencies” in his 2019 State of the Nation Address.

ARTA Director General Jeremiah Belgica headed the meetings with the agencies via online platform Zoom. On Thursday, he was able to meet with the LTO team which was led by Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante.

From August 2019 to March of this year, LTO had created seven (7) additional Driver’s Licensing Renewal offices from August 2019 to March of this year to address the high volume of transactions. As LTO resumes operations in GCQ areas, the agency has made the LTO Online Pass available for the driver’s license applicants and motor vehicle owners to schedule appointments in order to avoid the influx of the transacting public.

Last Tuesday, ARTA also met with BIR Assistant Commissioners Teresita Angeles and Clavelina Nacar.

In response to the ongoing community quarantines, BIR reported that the filing of Annual Income Tax Returns or ITRs, extended until 15 June 2020, could now be done online through eBIR Forms and Electronic Filing and Payment System facilities or eFPS. The BIR has also adopted the use of epayment facilities such as GCash and Paymaya.

On even date, ARTA was also joined by LRA Administrator Atty. Renato Bermejo, Land Registration Systems Inc. Vice President Ernest Camarillo, and Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission Commissioner Greco Belgica in a separate meeting.

LRA reported that the Citizen’s Land Registration Portal is already live, though its timeline was adjusted due to the pandemic. The portal, which has been operation since January, can be used for lodging registration information and uploading supporting documents. Through this, the transacting public may be able to encode their transaction entries and print their application forms.

“During this time of pandemic, we set out to maximize the use of digital communications to continue looking for ways to further assist these government agencies in complying with the President’s directive to ‘simplify’ and to make their services ‘responsive to the clients’ needs’, particularly now that we’re at a crisis”, said Director General Belgica.

During the meetings, ARTA also talked with the agencies about the actions they are taking to ensure efficient service delivery as they resume operations under “new normal” circumstances. To align intergovernmental efforts, the ARTA czar also presented the agencies with red tape reduction measures that they could adopt, as stated in ARTA Advisories 2020-01 and -02.

Under the leadership of the then newly-appointed Director General Belgica, ARTA first gathered the representatives from the five “most complained agencies” in a meeting at the Malacañang Premier Guest House on 6 August 2019. Since then, ARTA has been collaborating and coordinating with the
agencies to provide required assistance in improving their processes and operations.

Director General Belgica expressed his appreciation with the continuous efforts of the agencies to coordinate with ARTA in complying with R.A. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018. He also noted that the initiatives and reforms undertaken by these agencies to address the delays in their transactions since being nudged by the President has by far led to promising results, albeit some of these may require fast tracking and adjustments due to
the pandemic.

ARTA is also scheduled to meet with the remaining of the five agencies, SSS, Pag-IBIG, FDA, and LTFRB in the days to come.