16 November 2022 – In a highly anticipated meeting, the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), the Office of the Ombudsman, and Senate President Juan Miguel F. Zubiri sat down to discuss the harmonization of the mandates of two agencies.

The Senate President gave a statement of support to ARTA and invited the agencies for a dialogue in the plenary budget deliberations last week. The meeting was conducted in his office.

In his first day as chief of ARTA, Secretary Ernesto V. Perez discussed with Ombudsman Samuel Martires possible areas of collaboration, in particular, pushing for bureacratic efficiency.

Bureacratic efficiency is one of the identified priorites of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr., under his 8-point socieconomic agenda. It aims to streamline government processes and its services and increase global competitiveness.

During the meeting, Ombudsman Martires, who is a retired Supreme Court justice, shared his experiences in public service and his office’s reforms and ways forward.

For his part, Secretary Perez talked about ARTA’s programs and initiatives including those he had started as its Deputy Director General for Operations.

Senate President Juan Miguel F. Zubiri then expressed his full support for both offices and encouraged both leaders for closer collaboration for a more effective delivery of government services.

“We value the wisdom of Senate President Zubiri because, as the father of ARTA, he knows the intention of the Ease of Doing Business Law. We are also grateful for Ombudsman Martires’ support and willingness to work with ARTA”, the ARTA chief stated.

Senate President Zubiri was the primary sponsor of the Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 which created the ARTA.