STATE OF THE ARTA ADDRESS
Secretary Jeremiah B. Belgica
Director General, Anti-Red Tape Authority
Delivered on 25 June 2021 during the culmination of ARTA’s Third Anniversary
at the 9th Floor, National Food Authority Building, Visayas Avenue, Brgy. Vasra, Diliman, Quezon City

***

Thank you, Dir. Alice!

Please have your seats!

Di ko maintindihan bakit kailangan pa ako ng introduction. Pero thank you for those generous stories and introduction for me. To our beloved Secretary, Sec. Jun Evasco of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Streamlining of Government Processes, sir. Palapakan po natin si Sec. Jun.

Before I recognize the other guests na kasama natin, maybe three months before or a month before the appointment of Sec. Jun, a pastor friend actually told me that he had a dream. He told me that we would have the ear of the President. Sabi ko “ear of the president’ paano kaya yun bising busy si Presidente. And then lo and behold, we have our presidential adviser Sec. Jun Evasco who is here to guide us and also advise us in our work here in ARTA. And we know that it’s a pleasure for us to have  a, sabihin natin almost as good, na naririto na rin ang presensya ng ating Pangulo sa katauhan po ng ating mahal na Secretary Evasco, palakpakan po natin.

To my dear guests, adviser and chairman of ARTA Council Secretary Mon Lopez who was with us a while ago. Sec. Mon if you are still here and hearing my voice thank you again sir.

To my brother, or my nakababatang kuya kasi mas matanda daw siya sakin pero mas muka daw akong matanda, si Chairman Greco Belgica.

To our Civil Service Chairperson Alicia De la Rosa Bala thank you maam, chairwoman Bala for joining us online. We are grateful.

Also EODB-ART Advisory Council members. Of course our representative from our private sectors, Mr. Allan Wong But-Loy thank you sir, palakapakan po natin si Sir Allan. Joining us online also Mr. Peter Wallace, who is also the President of the Wallace Business Forum and, also one of our representatives on the private sector, Sir thank you very much.

To my friend Col. Edison “Bong” Nebrija, wag ho kayong dumaan sa EDSA ngayon baka ho traffic dahil naririto po si EDSA traffic czar Bro. Edison Nebrija. Thank you sir from the MMDA for joing us.

We are delighted nag-message pa ako sa kanila sir wag kayong a-absent. Ang ating official and representative of Truth and Justice Coalition Mr. Grabriel Go.

To my Deputy Director Generals, simulan ko sa pinakabata, si DDG Undersecretary General Carlos Quita, sir;  si Usec. DDG Eduardo “Doy” Bringas; and of course, Mr. 001, I am 002, unang empleyado ng ARTA or USec. for Operations sir Mr. Streamline si DDG Ernesto Perez, sir. I call them sir because matanda po silang lahat at well experienced at I could not ask for more.

To my directors, Dir. Alice; and of course, Dir. Jed; and to our Chairman of the Preparatory Committee before the anniversary Dir. Rabin Quilala, palakpakan marami pong salamat.

To all those who are in attendance today, from private sector, government sector, marami pong salamat sa inyo for your presence.

I would also like to thank those who have always supported the Anti-Red Tape Authority in all its programs and initiatives.

I want to extend my gratitude to the real conductor of the Train of Reform against red tape. Ang totoo pong ARTA Champion ang totoong ARTA, Anti Red Tape Advocate number 1 ay ang atin hong Pangulo. Pangulo Rodrigo Roa Duterte, sa kanya po he is a once in a lifetime leader and I as would always say na kaninang na kwento po ni Dir. Alice Fernadez na tinatanong ho nila kung sino ho ang magiging ARTA Director General siguro sa panahon na yun ay hindi ko pa po alam kung ako po ay mailalagay po dito. Subalit ho ng ating Pangulo na pumili ng isang, I would still consider kabataan, I was still 37 years old when I got the call that changed my life na ipagkatiwala ang isang ahensiya sa isa hong katulad ko na mas marami naman, sabihin kong mahuhusay at magagaling. This opportunity and this call you just have to give everything that you have for the people. Yun din ang tanong ko ‘no, sa marami satin, if this time would pass us by at hinidi ho natin gagawin ang dapat ho nating gawin baka bandang huli titingin ho tayo sa ating nakaraan with regrets. So atin hong pangulo, congratulations Mr. President for leading our campaign against red tape, against corruption.

Also to our Senator, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, who I believe would give us a message later via video, marami pong salamat, Senator Bong sa inyo pong suporta at sa iyo pong paniniwala sa atin hong kakayanan at sa ating kampanya laban po sa red tape.

To our legislative champions— Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri and Deputy Speaker Bernadette Herrera-Dy and also to the former representative from Iloilo Dr. Ferjinel Biron, who are the prime movers of the Ease of Doing Business Law in both houses, marami pong salamat.

Salamat sa patuloy po ninyong suporta. Sa bawat isa na hindi ko pa nababanggit, you know who you are and the people is greatly indebted po sa inyo.

To our colleagues who are physically with us and on Zoom who are online celebrating ARTA’s Anniversary I hope everybody is well and safe.

One thing that I would like to impart to you at this anniversary celebration is the word SERVANTHOOD.

Let me share this verse from Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

In carrying out our duties in the government, we must not overlook and be always reminded with the attribute, which totally defined the life of Jesus Christ—selfless Leadership or selfless servanthood.

Jesus laid aside His Divinity to come to earth and demonstrate God’s love for us. When He came, he revealed his skills as a leader by showing Himself not as a boss, not as a tyrant, not as a ruler but a humble a servant.

The Lord said He came not to be served, but to serve others. This is one of the most profound teachings He taught us through the Cross. Which I have been applying and reminding to each and everyone of us specially since our President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has entrusted to us the Anti-Red Tape Authority and me as its first Director General.

We, as government personnel, government servants are here not to be served, but to serve others.  Nonetheless, many of our colleagues in government agencies seem to have forgotten this very character that public service is a public trust. Public position is a public trust so servant like us. True servanthood begins with selflessness, progresses through humility, and ultimately seeks the good of others, which necessitates the right heart attitude. The heart of the matter is the problem of the heart.

We all need to be reminded that we are supposed to be serving with all our mind. Our needs would be filled up as we continue to serve others.

Our lives as public servants must be modeled in this earth as the Lord the lord spend his life on earth: a life entirely dedicated to service, which entails self-denial and self-sacrifice.

As we accomplish our day-to-day duties, keep in mind that our top responsibility is to be a servant. Let us never lose sight of the fact that we are here to serve this country. Let us always strive to freely contribute whatever we have to meet the needs and expectations of the Filipino people. Pag may expectation ka sa atin, maganda yun. Nakalulungkot if no one expects from you, it means that they have gone tired of all your pronouncements. But if they have expectations let us do our best to meet those or even surpass those expectations. I believe that God has placed us on this mission: through our President, nurturing us, protecting us, and giving us wisdom and strength to fulfill the purpose that He has set before us.

From all of these things, let us not forget to give all the Glory to Him, to thank our colleagues and again to look back in the past three years. The three years I must say that are remarkable and memorable years for each and every one of us here in ARTA. Para ho yung iba ho sa inyo tatlong taon na ho kayo dito sa ARTA, ako by next month I will be celebrating my second year together with other in ARTA. Pero it does not feel like 2 years. Nung simula, nung 1st 100 days ko ang sabi ko, 100 days palang ako dito parang ang haba na? Ngayon 2 years, naka 2 years na pala kami parang 1 month palang, kasi tuloy tuloy ho talaga. And I guess that is what the momentum gives you.

Becoming a part of the Anti-Red Tape Authority is not just being part of a government agency. I would always remind each and every one of you, “we are not just government, we are ARTA”. The country’s bureaucratic red tape is not a joke. Eliminating them is a monumental responsibility that falls squarely on our shoulders. And if this responsibility helps alleviate the suffering of millions of Filipinos who have endured far too much from red tape and bureaucracy, then this is worthwhile.

With our unwavering commitment together to fulfilling our corporate responsibilities, we have built partnerships that have tripled or quadrupled our feat in providing better government services to every Juan and Juanas; the Pedros the Marias and easing the process of doing business in the country cannot wait any longer.

Although we are a relatively new organization, our commitment to carrying out our mandate is as strong as that of established organization. The commitment, new partnerships, and relentless efforts of our Authority are evident not only in our accomplishments but with people in ARTA when you talked to them.

We are now in our third year, and to commemorate three years of service to our Filipino brothers and sisters, allow me to just give a quick highlight of some of our accomplishments that have helped our country take a few steps forward toward betterment.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN THE PAST THREE YEARS

Since the train of reform began rolling a few years ago, our goal has been to address every Filipino’s fundamental desire for a swift government transaction, so they are not forced to endure filthy ancient practices such as standing in line all day or dying in line all day for that matter but following words of our president or traveling back and forth to various government agencies.

To quote, “simplify and make your service responsive and client-friendly.”

‘Yan po ang gusto ng ating Pangulo.

That was the exact directive of our dear President Rodrigo Duterte during his State of the Nation Address last 2019. I can remember that distinctly because that was the first time, I think I assumed office in July 09, 2019, I was a few days before the SONA and the President gave special emphasis on his battle against red tape. So I was sitting there, and I was saying, “let’s do this”. We can clearly see his commitment to making life more comfortable and convenient for the Filipino People.

With the help of key agencies, we have laid the groundwork for our move to online systems, which are gradually supplanting the need for physical queuing. The gradual transition to e-governance enables citizens to access critical services from the convenience of their homes or places of employment. We have created initiatives to adapt more effectively to the ‘new normal’ and significantly reduce red tape for the benefit of the Filipino people so that the new normal would actually be a better normal.

We share the President’s commitment to ensuring that the next generation inherit a better country and a nation. We need to future proof para dirediretso po ang ating reporma.

Starting with

NEHEMIA Program

We believe that one important thing to do is to actually harmonize the requirements of all involved government agencies and instrumentalities. With the passage of R.A. 11032, we are able to look at the process from a whole-of-government perspective – allowing us to break the silo system across all government agencies in a sectoral-based streamlining effort. In our ongoing effort to streamline government services, we launched the Anti-Red Tape Authority’s flagship program, the Program NEHEMIA or the National Effort for the Harmonization of Efficient Measures of Inter-related Agencies, which was approved by the President and the Cabinet on March 4, 2020. It targets to cut the time, cost, requirements, and procedures in sectors of economic and social significance by 52 percent within 52 weeks.

The reforms created by Program NEHEMIA is aligned with the President’s directive to eliminate ‘overregulation’ in the government as well as to boost the achievements and realization of the President’s 10-point Socio-economic Agenda.

NEHEMIA figures

The sectors included in the first phase of the program are the (1) telecommunications or common towers and interconnectivity, (2) housing, (3) food and pharmaceutical, (4) logistics, and (5) energy.

We have approved a Joint Memorandum Circular to accelerate the building of telco towers in our country this is of course in response to the President’s call for an improved Internet and more speedy internet connectivity, internet connection. Through this issuance, we were able to bring down the number of required permits from 30 to 8, the number of documentary requirements from 86 to 35, and the length of time for the processing of requirements from 241 days to only 16 days. At least 26, 636 pending permits for telco companies. Palakpakan naman po ninyo ang nangyari na yan. And I would also want to say that I believe today we would also be completing the Expanded Joint Memorandum Circular for the Telco Towers. So ibig sabihin bumilis na ho noon at atin pa hong mas pabibilisin sa tulong po ng ating mga kasamahan sa gobyerno.

For the logistics sector, we have also issued a JMC together with the DILG, DOF, and also ARTA. And also this is for the automation of processes and use of Unified Rapid Pass that aims to reduce the steps required from 209 to 24 and the length of time for processing from 271 days to 35 days.

Lastly, we have integrated the Food and Drug Administration’s electronic License to Operate and Center for Drug Regulation and Research into the Central Business Portal. By reducing the steps needed from what used to be 28 to now 9 steps, the number of documentary requirements needed from 41 to 12, and the length of time for processing from 63 to 21 days. And also, we are in the tail end of our streamlining for the housing sector being led by our DDG Doy Bringas and course through DDG Nes Perez who is leading the logistic sector. Maraming salamat sa kanila, para hindi na ho paulit ulit ang nire-request ng mga LGU galing sa iba’t ibang national agencies. But we would be pushing for the use of only one indicative document which is the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, thereby effectively reducing all the requirements to one simple requirement.

BOSS, eBOSS, and NBOSS

We have also intensified our streamlining of government transactions through Business One-Stop Shops, which is also stated in Section 4 of RA 11032. As part of our continuing inspections of LGUs, their compliances with the Ease of Doing Business Law during this year’s business renewal period, noong January po lamang, we looked into the Business One Stop-Shop (BOSS) in 17 LGUs dito po sa Mentro Manila, naikot po natin lahat yan, nabusisi and hindi lamang ho Ceremonial na pagdaan, inisisa isa ho natin and in fact some of the Mayors told me after “DG akala ko picture lang hindi ho namin alam ng strikto ho pala kayo sa ARTA.” Sabi ko, “syempre ho mayor hindi naman ho pwede na picture lang, kailangan mayroon kayong Unified Form, mayroon kayo single window approach kasi this is really the intention of the President to make the life of the people convenient.” So as part of our continuing inspections of the LGU, we continue to inspect and to visit them even recently, just like Quezon City, even Manila and in the coming days and weeks the other LGUs to ensure their compliance with electronic Business One-Stop Shops.

Aside from the implementation of the processing time, ARTA also checked for the presence of an updated and complete Citizen’s Charter in the most conspicuous place. I would always refer to the Citizens Charter as Charter of the Citizen o ang Listahan ng Karapatan ng Taong Bayan na nag-a-apply sa gobyerno. Ito po ay mahigpit na pinatutupad ng ARTA. Kung hindi pa ho kayo nachi-check at sabihin niyong, hindi naman, wala naman nagbago. Magbago na ho kayo baka ho kayo abutan naming at mayroon na hong nakasuhan sa kanilang hindi pagtalima sa mga requirements ng Citizens Charter. We also check the single window and unified form for applications, and the integration of applications for Barangay Clearance and for Fire Safety Inspection/Evaluation Clearance with the BFP, and the automation of their business processing and licensing system, or hindi lang Business One-Stop Shop kinakailangan mayroon na silang electronic Business One- Shops.

Furthermore, we have created a Joint Memorandum Circular with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) together with ARTA that mandated the LGUs to automate their permitting and licensing system and have given them some guidelines in the implantation and creation of their electronic Business One-Stop Shop (eBOSS). In relation to this, the DICT has developed the Integrated Business Permitting and Licensing System or iBPLS which is already available for free. Para wala na pong dahilan ang mga LGU’s na wala kaming budget. Hindi naming kaya e automate ang aming Business One-Stop Shop. Ayan may libri na po ginawa po ng ating pamahalaan, gagamitin nalang po natin. As of May 31, 580 LGUs are utilizing this system, the IBPLS.  Noong nagsimula ho tayo, wala pa ata sa isang daan ngayon we have 580 using the software that we are providing for free and the other LGU’s are using their own technologies. So hindi lamang ho 580 yan.

We are currently making rounds in national government agencies (NGAs) and local government units (LGUs) to ensure that they are delivering the necessary services to their people in an efficient and timely manner.

ARTA also launched the National Business One-Stop Shop (NBOSS) in partnership with DICT and other key national government agencies. This is in accordance with Rule XI Section 4 (a) and (b) of R.A. 11032’s Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), which mandates ARTA to implement and oversee a national anti-red tape and ease of doing business policy, as well as various ease of doing business reform initiatives aimed at improving the Philippines’ ranking.

Moreover, it is in accordance with the adoption of a whole-of-government approach to streamlining government services, as mentioned in the IRR.

Now moving on to the Central Business Portal.

Central Business Portal (CBP)

The NBOSS is to be complemented by the Central Business Portal (CBP), which was also developed by DICT through Secretary Honasan. Marami pong salamat Manong Greg, for partnering with us in continuous development of CBP. As provided in Section 13 or RA 11032, last January 28, ARTA along with the other key agencies and stakeholders, namely the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG Fund, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and eighteen pilot Local Government Units (LGUs) have launched Phase 1 of the Central Business Portal (CBP).

The Central Business Portal is an online one-stop shop for registering businesses in the Philippines. Kung mayroon pong central station kung saan naroroon lahat ng mga sakayan na matatagpuan mo . The Central Business Portal is the central doorway or gateway to all business permits online that we would be needing in our country. So yan po ang vision natin. It offers a single site for all business-related information and transactions, such as securing business permits, licenses, and clearances.

It promotes effective service delivery and transparency in the government. Previously, registering a business would take a business applicant 33 days and 13 steps; but now, with the CBP, business registrations can be done in just one step and completed in less than a day.

We recognize the importance of initiatives like this in increasing the ease of doing business in the country and in achieving our government’s economic development objectives. ARTA is particularly focused on improving our rankings in the DB Report since it gives foreign insight into the potential of what it would be like to do business in the Philippines.

Citizen’s Charter

The Citizen’s Charter is an information billboard posted outside the offices of government agencies that includes details on the services that they offer, the fees to be paid, the contact persons for the particular services, the length of time for processing of applications, and all other pertinent information.

As of May 7, out of 10,147 offices, at least 8,310 or about 81% are compliant with the Citizen’s Charter directive, while around 19% are non-compliant. So, they are not currently being made to explain and to rectify their errors.

Ease of Doing Business

We are continuously working to improve the performance of the country, not only in the Doing Business Report, but also in ways that will be felt by everyone. Naniniwala po kami na ang tunay na sukatan ng isang proseso ay hindi ho yung mga numero lamang pero ang nararamdaman ng ordinaryong taong bayan na atin hong pinaglilingkuran. It is time to remove outdated, redundant, and unnecessary requirements that serve no purpose but to unduly burden and to encumber the life of the people.

Doing Business Survey

In the World Bank 2020 Doing Business Report, the Philippines landed in the 95th spot out of 190 countries, jumping 29 notches from its 124th rank in 2019. It also posted an ease of doing business score of 62.8, an improvement from its 57.68 score in 2019.

As seen by these developments in the Doing Business Report, our hard work and determination are beginning to bear fruit.

But now, although the World Bank will now be shifting from ranking to scores, we are also looking in the future that we would continue to increase the scores of the country in our doing business survey.

Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to streamline operations and enhance systems in a bid to increase the country’s ranking and scores even further

Other President’s Directives

One of those is the creation of Green Lane for Vaccine Manufacturers.

One of our latest JMCs was JMC No. 1, series of 2021, or the Establishment of a Green Lane for Securing Permits, Licenses, and Authorizations for the Establishment and Operation of a Bulk Import, Fill, and Finish Local COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturing Facility and for Registration for Availment of Incentives. The heads of ARTA, the Department of Health, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Science and Technology, Food and Drug Administration, and the National Task Force Against COVID-19 wasted no time in making these things reality. Of course, kudos to our Deputy Director General for Operations, DDG Perez, for spearheading the technical working group on this. Congratulations DDG Nes!

This is our response to President with the help of our Presidential Adviser, Secretary Jun Evasco for pushing and making sure that his personal appeals and directives will not go unheeded. Palakpakan po natin ang atin pong Secretary.

So the president on April 15, 2021, where he called for an expedited permitting process to produce the COVID-19 vaccines. Pwede ho pala na ang JMC magawa sa loob lamang ng isang buwan. We were able to do it because of the help of every agency, mga secretaries po ito, in times of pandemic. Palakpakan po natin ang bawat isa sa kanila.

Also, the President directed for the personal benefits of uniform personnel.

We have also issued a JMC for the Creation of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Streamlining the Processing of Uniformed Services Benefit Claims. The role of the Task Force is to review and streamline existing systems in order to make the process of claiming death benefits easier for surviving beneficiaries of uniformed personnel. Pero hindi lamang ho ito, ito naman po ay pinamunuan ang ating Chief of Staff, si DDG Carlos Quita, isa rin hong former officer. Palakpakan ho natin si DDG Carlos. Napakadali po kasi nandiyan po siya; and hindi lang po, what used to be only for the police and AFP, it’s now expanded to whole uniformed personnel. Included po diyan ang Bureau of Fire, Coast Guard and all of them are now part. Not only for survivorship benefits but even retirement benefits. Thank you very much DDG Caloy.

This is after President Duterte called on national government agencies to fix their systems to make the release of the death benefit claims of uniformed personnel quick and efficient.

ENFORCEMENT

On the Enforcement side of things, we are really driven to address any complaints received about the Ease of Doing Business Law. And, if an agency is found to have violated the provisions of RA 11032, we are obligated to activate our enforcement function and impose the appropriate sanctions.

Yung isa pong peculiar na trabaho ng Anti-Red Tape Authority is mayroon tayong kaliwa at kanan or two combinations. Ito po yung Empowerment and Enforcement. We talked to the agency and help them to streamline; but we also have the duty to investigate and file cases if needed. And I would say na sometimes ang agency would be tensed whether ARTA is coming in peace to have them streamline or coming to police and to investigate. Pero bibigyan ko po kayo ng hint. Pag si DDG Nes po ang humarap sa inyo ibig sabihin po ma-i-i-streamline ho kayo. Pag si DDG Doy naman po, ibig sabihin may imbestigasyon na po ‘yan. So pareho po ‘yan ano, hint lamang po.

Even as we speak entrapment operation by DDG Caloy is continuing, even right now.

Ok I am just informed that the entrapment operation is already successful. Mayroon na pong nakuha na target may kasama pa na isang accomplice in front of the insurance company and also an operation in Pasig is also undergoing.

Palakpakan ho natin, baka sabihin ninyo hindi ho kami nag tratrabaho. Tuloy tuloy po natin. So congratulations, DDG Caloy.

Complaints Statistics

As of June 10, ARTA had received a total of 1,127 complaints.

As presented on the slide, we can see the breakdown of the cases that we filed before the Office of the Ombudsman, the Civil Service Commission, OPs, and Trial Courts. For national government agencies, we have filed a total of 442 cases, while for LGUs, we have filed 11 cases.

Automatic Approval/Renewal

From 2019 to 2020, ARTA has recorded a total of 8,510 issued Automatic Approvals and Renewals. We have also recorded 14 applications for Automatic Approval/Renewal.

Those who complain about their pending Automatic Approval documents will be issued a declaration of completeness by the Authority after due investigation and verification.

Entrapment Operations in collaboration with PNP-CIDG

In coordination with the PNP-CIDG, we have increased our entrapment operations against fixers as part of our enforcement function.

On May 24, the Tarlac City task force quarry leader was apprehended in an entrapment operation, three days after a private person reported his alleged extortion activities.

We also apprehended a man at the Lipa branch of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). The suspect allegedly demanded P 5,000 from the undercover agent in exchange for a quick issuance of the Certificate of Registration.

And, just last June 15, we have arrested a fixer, who offered his illegal services to Usec. Quita outside the Land Transportation Office (LTO) Headquarters.

We are strengthening our enforcement role in order to put an end to the fixing in government agencies. There will be no letup in this campaign against fixers and we promise that we will go not only for small fishes but for the big fishes as well.

“DG, bakit ho ang nahuli ang rank and file lang, at hindi ho nahuhuli yung nasa loob?” E kung yung head of the agency ho ang tumanggap e yun ho ang ma-e-entrap natin.

PARTNERSHIPS/COLLABORATIONS

But, we cannot carry out this fight against red tape alone.

Joint Investigations with PACC

To align and integrate their functions, coordination and cooperation in handling complaints and reports of violations, we have forged a deal with the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, led by Chairman Greco B. Belgica. This is a much-anticipated collaboration that places PACC and ARTA at the vanguard of the President’s anti-corruption and anti-red tape campaign. This agreement is a significant step toward developing and strengthening the President’s anti-corruption and anti-red tape campaign, as well as achieving the administration’s goal of ensuring transparency and accountability in the government.

CART

The President’s directive to ‘cut red tape’ applies to all government agencies and instrumentalities, which is why we must all improve quickly. The creation of the CART agencies helps establish a national network of regulatory reform champions within the government bureaucracy and will address inefficiency and red tape matters within their own backyards. More than anything else, the battle against red tape ultimately involves a change in paradigm from a regulatory mindset into a more citizen-centric mindset. It is reassuring to know that the local government units are adhering to the Committee on Anti-Red Tape (CART). As of May 4, a total of 1,870 LGUs had created their own CART, and the number is expected to increase.

We are  also delighted nung nakita ko po namin even the other maybe 2 weeks ago even Davao City si Maam Inday Sara also directed the creation of the committee on the Anti-Red Tape o CART. Also, Quezon City and also the other cities in Metro Manila already have created their CART.

This step is especially beneficial when it comes to expediting government transactions as the committee is responsible for streamlining and reengineering the systems and procedures and also addressing fixing matters in their agencies.

In this regard, we have formed alliances with our so-called ARTA Champions in the public, business, and media sectors. We believe that with the help of the ARTA Champions, we will be able to complete more tasks and achieve more goals in terms of enhancing the ease of doing business in the country. Their assistance and support will help us empower more people to push back against red tape and spread awareness on ARTA’s programs and projects. They will also be our eyes to rid irregularities in government processes.

And I am also happy to say that marami po sa mga nakikita ho namin na solusyon na ibinibigay na recommendation sa mga agency marami ho jan ay nanggagaling sa ating mga ARTA Champion. We thank our partners the PCCI—the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry; also the GreenPro; the group for real estate developers; our friends from media, I believe it’s the Manila Times and other radio stations and TV Stations who have pledged their partnerships; also recently, the Junior Chamber International has also signed up to become ARTA Champion and we are very excited because these young leaders are not catching the vision for a streamlined governance.

Regulatory Impact Assessment

ARTA has worked tirelessly to establish a formal and required Regulatory Management System in the Philippines. In alignment with the administration’s development plan, we are working on developing an overarching Regulatory Management System and institutionalizing Regulatory Impact Assessment. This is actually a global practice already. Ang lahat po ng mga regulatory management system ng mga bansang may matured na Regulatory Manangement System have already perfected or even have strengthened the incorporation of RIA in the way they come up with their regulation. And now the Philippines will soon have our own regulatory impact assessment manual at ito po at malapit narin nating i-roll-out. At sinisimulan na po natin itong i-roll-out and eventually we would see this as part of our practice here in our country. Palakpakan naman ho natin.  The Regulatory Management and Training Division entered into an agreement with the Development Academy of the Philippines to conduct regulatory management training programs and capacity building initiatives for priority agencies.

We have conducted User’s Training on Basic RIA for 44 agencies in 2019. The following year, we held an Executive Seminar on RMS and RIA for 46 agencies, UK-ARTA Training on Better Regulation for 41 agencies, and Complaints Handling Training: Capacity Building of ARTA Champions for PCCI.

Our ongoing trainings are the User’s Training on Advanced Ria for 20 agencies, the Panel Presentations of the Results of RIA for two agencies, as we speak the final presentation for the result of RIA Manual Pilot Testing of national Regulatory Impact Assessment Manual.

Ito yung basically ay naririyan na po ang mga tools. Kung baga dati hirap ho tayo lumaban sa gyera kontra red tape. Ngayon ho after maybe 20 years now, we have set the infrastructure in place. Meaning andyan na po ang ARTA, ang OPASGP, ang Manual ng ating ibang policies. And we will now be graduating, we believe this year, from a starter stage to an empowered stage na po tayo. Matagal na po tayo, finally sa ating bansa.

Regulatory Impact Statement

The Regulatory Impact Statement is the final output of agencies who underwent RIA Training from ARTA and DAP that details their proposed regulations to improve their systems.

Around 12 agencies have presented their RISs, as of June 16, 2021.

Exciting ho kasi sila ho ay natututo na, ang mga major department, bureaus nagsa-submit na ho sila.

For the RIA Pilot Implementation, the RIA Manual has been drafted with the help of UPPAF-RESPOND. A simplified methodology for select government agencies will be used for its initial implementation.

The implementation and application of RIA and RIS has been considered towards the development of a framework and implementation plan for RMS. Right now, the Philippines is in the Starter stage or the first stage in the classification of countries in terms of RMS. With all the collaborative efforts with the partner agencies, and your involvement, we are stepping up to enabled stage by 2022. And, we are hopeful that we will continue to progress until the RMS is fully embedded in the country.

Philippine Good Regulatory Practices and The Whole-of-Government Reengineering Manual

The Anti-Red Tape Authority has consistently advocated for the implementation of a whole-of-government approach. We feel it is a vital step toward a more dynamic market and a more robust economy. Now that we are still in the grip of the pandemic, streamlined government procedures and integrated systems and services boost confidence among business owners, investors, consumers, and the general public, facilitating a more conducive investment climate that promotes job creation, sustainable growth, and economic recovery.

We agree with the administration’s and our President’s overarching goal of improving the regulatory framework.

At this juncture, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present to you the Philippine Good Regulatory Practices and National Reengineering Manual for the whole-of-government approach. Palakpakan po natin. Hindi ko na hawakan subalit kanina lamang the ARTA Council approved and is endorsing the use of the Whole-of-Government Reengineering Manual. Nandiyan po ang ating consultant, si Engr. Juan Talamayan, maraming Salamat, who has been helping us and also learning from the experience of the NEHEMIA Program.

The Philippine Good Regulatory Principles (PGRP) are a set of core principles and guidelines yung parang ang Sampung Utos. Una, nakita ko labing tatlo sabi ko “labing tatlo ang utos natin, si Lord e sampu lang. O sige sampu nalang, ‘wag na natin lagpasan. So ten good Regulatory Principles now ready in ebook for and we will be distributing this to everyone. That will be similar to and in alignment with both the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Good Regulatory Practices (GRP). It is a guide document for those governed by Section 3 of R.A. 11032 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) on how to promote proportionate, consistent, accountable, and targeted regulations through effective dialogue between regulators and those regulated.

The Whole-of-the-Government Reengineering Manual is the first of its kind. It is an important and very useful guide in our advocacy to streamline processes to improve government services and make the lives of people easier. It provides comprehensive and practical guidelines and examples to help the readers adopt a more integrated and efficient approach to delivering services. This is in line with the ASEAN Regulatory Reform Program, part of the ASEAN Economic Reform Program, funded by the UK Prosperity Fund.

We want to thank our partner from UK Government for continuously supporting us. Palakpakan ho natin sila.

They are both essential in improving the regulatory environment and will help attract foreign investment and spur competition, thereby promoting sustainable development and a healthy, equitable economy.

I would like to acknowledge the people behind this achievement, the Better Regulations Office and the Compliance Monitoring and Evaluation Office under the supervision of Deputy Director General Ernesto V. Perez, CPA.  Can we all give them a warm round of applause.

ROP on Digital Handling of Cases

We have also worked on the New Rules of Procedures on Digital Handling of Cases. With this, we are the first government agency to digitalize complaint handling.

Palakpakan naman natin sila DDG Doy Bringas, Dir Jed Ng, for their hardwork. Matinding debate, mahirap ho talaga Mr. Secretary na kapag yung mga abogado nag-uusap-usap parang hindi na ho kami natatapos, kulang ang isang araw. Talagang masinsin ang usapan.

And now, to sum up all the three-year service of the Anti-Red Tape Authority, I am honored and proud to present to you the ARTA Chronicles. It is a compilation, palakpakan nyo naman po the Communications Team and also sila Dir. Rabin for finishing the Chronicles in time. It is actually a simple compilation of the key programs and projects of the Anti-Red Tape Authority in the past three years.

This, my dear colleagues and friends, is the result of our three years of hard work. Lahat po kayo kasama kasi Chronicles po natin ito.  Those were the achievements of the train of reform. Through those accomplishments, we are now a step closer to a better Philippines.

Now I am delighted to show to everyone the teaser of the ARTA Chronicles. Mayroon ba tayong pweding ipakita?

Of course, all these achievements would not be possible without the hardw ork and determination ng bawat isa sa inyo. You have to be proud of these in order for us to keep on doing what we do. So ayan po, its an ebook, an electronic book. Ah magkano ba ito? hindi libre po ito, okay? Soon baka ho magkaroon ho tayo ng more bounded and hardbound. So andiyan po lahat ang ating mga issuances, JMC, Memorandum Circulars, Memorandum of Advice, napakadami ho. Tiningnan ko ho lahat, ang dami na palang issuances ng ARTA, dumaan kaya ito sa Regulatory Impact Assessment?

Now, I would like to honor all the ARTA employees who have continued to serve our country through their hard work. May I request the ARTA employees to stand to be recognized as I call your division and give you a warm round of applause for the job well done.

  • Office of the Director General

1.1    Public Relations Unit

2.00 Office of the Deputy Director General for Administration and Finance

2.10 Finance and Administrative Office

2.11 General Services Division

2.12 Finance Division

2.13 Human Resource Development Division

2.14 Planning Unit

2.15 Information and Communication Technology Unit

2.16 Special Project Management Office

3.00 Office of the Deputy Director General for Operations

3.10 Better Regulations Office

3.11 Regulatory Management and Training Division

3.12 Doing Business Division

3.13 Compliance Monitoring and Evaluation Office

4.00 Office of the Deputy Director General for Legal

4.10 Investigation, Enforcement and Litigation Office

4.11 Legal and Public Assistance Office

4.12 Public Assistance Division

5.00 Regional Field Offices

Again, thank you to my dear colleagues from the Anti-Red Tape Authority. You truly are the fuel that keeps the train of reform moving.

Thank you very much, makakaupo po kayong lahat.

Kaming mga political appointees aalis ho kami rito. Kayo po ang maiiwan. Sa inyo po ito. Kayo po ang ARTA. So we do hope that as we continue this work with remaining days and times that we are together we will work as one team, one ARTA.

With all the hard work that you have shown, it is also right to give you the best services so that you can deliver more.

Here is an overview of where ARTA is now as an organization and where we are headed to.

PLANTILLA AND REGIONAL OFFICES

To support our operations and initiatives, we are continuously hiring additional manpower. Our team now consists of 112 plantilla workers and 41 contract of service workers, making up a total of 153 public servants.

I have always mentioned that the train of reform is moving at its full speed now and we still have a long way to go. In order to reach the destination, the train will need more fuel. So, we will need more equally talented and adorable employees, just like you are, to keep up with the initiatives that we are doing.

Under the supervision of DDG Quita and also our Chief of Staff, we propose restructuring and expansion to 600+ plantilla personnel, as well as the operationalization of regional offices. In fact, just last week, we signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Secretary Ramon Lopez of DTI regarding the 8 regional offices. Actually, it’s super Regional Offices. This is impactful because we will be able to reach out to our fellow Filipinos all over the Philippines. Again, my sincere gratitude to our beloved Secretary Ramon Lopez for your generosity and unwavering support to ARTA.

NEW OFFICE

And, because we anticipated that we would be a growing organization, we relocated here to our new office in April of this year.

As you can see, it is a bigger and wider office where we can work with proper ventilation and we can practice physical distancing. We also believe that the office environment directly influences employee satisfaction, creativity, and productivity.

We fully recognize that this worldwide health crisis has filled us all with dread. We are doing everything we can to safeguard everyone from the COVID-19 virus.

FREE PCR TEST

In line with ARTA’s wellness program for its personnel, the Authority has procured laboratory services for the COVID-19 PCR (Swab) Test through BEST DIAGNOSTIC CORPORATION. Any personnel exposed to the virus or who experience COVID-like symptoms can avail it for free.

COVID-19 VACCINE

Furthermore, thanks to the generosity of the Quezon City local government unit, led by Mayor Joy Belmonte, ARTA employees will be vaccinated against COVID-19. We are actively cooperating with the Quezon City LGU, and we hope to get everyone vaccinated by the first week of July.

More is on the way for ARTA as an organization to properly equip us in our fight against red tape and bureaucracy. The reform train will keep rolling until we achieve our goal of establishing a better Philippines for our fellow Filipinos.

Quoting the Carpenters, “We’ve only just begun”. The three years are only a warm-up.

This may be the culmination of our two-week long 3rd year anniversary celebration, but it is only the beginning of our many years of service to our countrymen. Let us always be reminded of the servanthood exemplified by the Lord on the cross. May it live on in our hearts for many years as we work to realize our purpose of bettering the lives of our people and making our country a better Philippines.

Maraming salamat Pangulo sa iyo pong tiwala. Patuloy ho kaming magtratrabaho sa katapusan po ng ating Administrasyon at sabay-sabay ho nating sabihin na ang tren ng reporma ay tumatakbo na at pabilis nang pabilis ito. Ang sinomang humarang dito ay tiyak na masasagasaan.

Marami pong salamat!

 

END