16 August 2021 – To all of our distinguished speakers and guests today, to our dear friend, President Engelbert Caronan of the Development Academy of the Philippines, former Undersecretary Ric Saludo, president of CenSEI, my colleagues from ARTA who will also be delivering a presentation later, Usec. Ernesto Perez, at sa mga kinatawan po ng DICT na si Usec. Arnold Atienza at si Ms. Cristina Cristobal, at sa lahat ng mga nandito today, it is a very wonderful time to again revisit the things that has to be done in our country especially in this time of pandemic.

It has always been said that the only thing that does not change in our world is change itself. Ang isang bagay lang po na hindi nagbabago ay ang katotohanan na ang mga bagay ay magbabago. Now, this could be sort of a cliché, however, in a position, in a work like in a public office that you and I are serving right now, we have been pushing, under the leadership of our once-in-a-lifetime, transformational leader, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, key reforms that our nation has never seen before. Personally, I could speak for ARTA na napakarami sa mga bagay na itinutulak ng aming ahensya ay mga bagay na hindi nangyari sa mga nakaraang administrasyon, subalit sa panahon ngayon ay naging posible because of several things.

First is the passage of the Ease of Doing Business law or the new ARTA law, the creation of an institution such as the Anti-Red Tape Authority, the creation of a support institution such as the Ease of Doing Business, EODB-ART Council, Advisory Council, and the Joint Congressional Committee, and many other issuances that has come after this law just to show the commitment of this administration in streamlining government processes and making things that used to be hard, or even impossible, to be possible. Ilan po ito sa mga ginawa ng ating Pangulo, ng ating administrasyon, upang lamang masiguro na mayroong mangyayaring mga reporma na hinahangad ng taumbayan.

But again, going back to my first premise, how do we guard ourselves against negative change, meaning, against the fact that we could simply slip back to our former practice and just put to waste all of the reforms that you and I in the government have been doing? This is the question that I would like to give clarification through this webinar, Future-Proofing Regulatory Reforms.

Sa akin pong palagay ay may apat na bagay, there are four things that I could say can actually help us to future-proof the reforms that we have been pushing for quite some time now.

First is the letter A, which is to have a clear architectural vision. Without vision, the people perish, the Holy Scripture says. Kung wala pong malinaw na pangitain, walang malinaw na road map, hindi po natin magagawa ang atin pong regulatory reform, more so, no regulatory reform will ever survive the changes of the future. Having a clear vision and architectural vision is a must. Thus, today, we would be hearing a discussion by Undersecretary Ernesto Perez regarding the efforts of our country towards the institutionalization of the Regulatory Management System. The Regulatory Management System is the general idea and the goal that ARTA has been pushing for subtly to institutionalize good practices and good policies and capacitating government agencies to be able to self-assess themselves. Today, we are proud to say that the Philippines is graduating from the beginner or starter stage into an enabled stage by the end of the year. Also, we would also be discussing today about the first ever Philippine Good Regulatory Principles or the PGRP. The PGRP is a set of principles or codes that would serve as a reminder to all regulatory agencies and regulators to not be over regulators but to become developmental partners of the institutions and the people that they are seeking to help.

After having a clear architectural vision, another important step towards future-proofing is having a well-written regulatory policy. Sinabi nga, ang anumang mga bagay na hindi isinulat ay maaaring makalimiutan. We need to put it in paper if ever we need to set it in stone. We need to train as much and as many people as possible with this new mindset, with this architectural plan, with this new vision that we would like to see and put it out there. And that is the reason why we have in our midst, and later we will be hearing more about the Development Academy of the Philippines from the president himself, President Engelbert Caronan, who are the experts in the field of regulatory reform and regulatory management when it comes to our government. He will be speaking more about future-proofing and also how we could write out the reforms as a policy na hindi lang subject sa whims and caprices ng bawat lider na darating.

Also, when we talk about future-proofing, hindi po natin matatanggal sa usapan ang technology, teknolohiya. Using technology in order for us to solidify the gains that we are now having is not only desirable but necessary. In the recent months, through the initiative of ARTA and the DICT, we have come together to put up and to push and to realize a once-in-a-lifetime dream that we have which is to come up with a single portal that will allow Filipinos to register their businesses from SEC, BIR, SSS, PhilHealth, PAGIBIG, to the local government units in less than one day. This is the vision of the Central Business Portal, na, at the beginning of this year, we have rolled out with the DICT and the other government agencies, and as we speak, we are envisioning that by the end of this year, most of the key local government units, including DTI and CDA, will already be part of this wonderful project which is the Central Business Portal. Para hindi na ho pumupunta kung saan-saan ang taumbyan para irehistro ang kanilang mga negosyo. Sa pamamagitan lamang ng kanilang internet, ng kanilang laptop, and eventually, ng kanilang cellphone, magagawa po natin ang mga bagay na ito.

And lastly, future-proofing regulatory reforms would entail for advocacy champions to continue our battle, our cry, our vision, the architectural vision, the regulatory policies that were written, the technology that were established, and these advocacy champions would continue to speak and to tell about the good things that we are seeking to accomplish. And they will continue from the private sector, also advocacy champions from within government agencies, kinakailangan po natin ituloy ang laban sa pamamagitan po ng ating mga kasamahan na magpapatuloy.

As a young man, I remember hearing one of my mentors tell me, “Whoever captures the dreams of the young will have before him the future.” Kung sino man ang makakakuha ng isip at puso ng mga kabataan, siya po ang makakakuha ng ating kinahaharap at kinabukasan. In the same way, I do believe that the future-proofing of regulatory reforms is a battle for the dreams and aspirations of the Filipino people. That is why it is important for us to remember the four things that I mentioned, which could be summarized into what we call A-R-T-A, ARTA. This is our small contribution sa bawat isa po sa atin sa malapit na pagtatapos po ng ating administrasyon ng ating Pangulo, ituloy po natin ang pagbabago, ituloy po natin ang laban sa pangunguna po ng ating Pangulo, sa pangunguna ng ating liders sa dipartamento na inyo pong kinabibilangan, at pati na rin po sa ating mga ARTA Champions, what we call the ARTA Champions, the ARTA volunteers who are here, we thank you. Huwag po tayong panghinaan dahil we know, and I do believe from the depths of my heart, that the best days are ahead of us.

Muli, I would want to say and remind us na ang tren ng pagbabago laban sa red tape ay tumatakbo na at pabilis na ng pabilis. Ang sinuman pong humarang dito ay tiyak na masasagasaan.

Marami pong salamat, stay safe, and let us enjoy today’s webinar.