Statement of ARTA Secretary Jeremiah B. Belgica on the Passage on Second Reading of HB 8942 or the proposed Ease of Paying Taxes Act

08 September 2021 – House Bill (HB) no. 8942 or the proposed Ease of Paying Taxes Law seeks to simplify tax transactions. Its salient provisions include the offsite filing of the Tax Identification Number (TIN), removal of the required annual Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) registration, and harmonization of venue rules to allow fully online filings with the Bureau.

Certainly, the above-mentioned proposal complements Republic Act No. 11032, also known as the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, aimed at increasing efficiency by ridding red tape across the bureaucracy through streamlining of processes and filing of cases against erring government agencies, employees, and/or private accomplices. Hence, we support its recent passage on second reading at the House of Representatives and back any calls for its speedy approval.

We see that HB 8942 will have a positive effect on the country’s scores in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Survey.

Now that we are still in the midst of a pandemic and more contagious variants are emerging, modernizing tax administration and improving tax compliance through streamlining and automation will undoubtedly reduce the burden on taxpayers and eventually encourage people to settle their taxes.


ARTA to form technical working group to assist PhilHealth in streamlining hospital claims

07 September 2021 – The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) is forming a technical working group (TWG) to support the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) in streamlining its unpaid COVID-19 claims by public and private hospitals.

This, as ARTA’s meetings and hearings with PhilHealth and private stakeholders reveal bigger issues that require a whole-of-government approach.

Secretary Jeremiah Belgica, ARTA Director General, said members of the Department of Health (DOH), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and other key agencies will form the group.

“Kailangan magtulungan po tayo dahil iisang gobyerno tayo. Matatalo natin ang COVID-19, na patuloy na nagpapahirap sa mga kababayan natin, kung tutulungan natin ang isa’t isa,” Belgica said.

PhilHealth has come under fire for the delays in its payment of COVID-19 reimbursement claims from both public and private hospitals.

In a hearing on 1 September 2021, among some of the issues raised were the non-coverage of Remdesivir and Tocilizumab, medicine used to treat COVID-19 patients, by the Standard of Care.

Previous hearings between ARTA and PhilHealth also revealed that the state insurer has issues with its Information and Communications Technology (ICT), wrong diagnoses and faulty documentation in its Return-to-Hospital applications, and Medical Prepayment Review (MPR).

Earlier, the Authority connected PhilHealth with the DICT that pledged to assist them with their storage concerns. However, the state insurer will have to resolve its internet speed issues on its own since they will be coordinating with their internet service provider.

Belgica also advised PhilHealth to rid their systems of redundant processes and push Congress to legislate their streamlining efforts so that they will have a legal cover.

Further coordination will be made with PhilHealth, other key agencies, and private stakeholders to discuss the TWG.


ARTA to launch new public service show ‘ARTAhin Mo!’ on Sept. 7

06 September 2021 – In line with its relentless campaign to eradicate red tape in the Philippine government, the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) will launch an exciting new public service stand-alone show titled “ARTAhin Mo!”

The show, which will be hosted by Secretary Jeremiah Belgica, ARTA Director General, himself, will feature resolved cases or cases that will be addressed on-the-spot.

It will also report on the agency’s achievements and streamlining and anti-red tape efforts across government agencies.

In a Facebook live on Monday, 06 September, Belgica said ARTA aims to use the power of social media to promote ease of doing business and anti-red tape.

Through the public service show, the ARTA chief is also hoping to receive suggestions on how to improve government services.

“I hope na mas maging lively ang interaction natin sa audience natin through this show,” he said.

“Pangulo na po natin ang mismong nagsabi na sampalin niyo ang mga nagpapatagal ng pagproseso ng mga dokumento. Magagawa niyo po iyon sa tulong ng palabas namin. ARTAhin mo at kami ang sasampal ng kaso sa kanila,” he added.

ARTA’s new show will be aired every Tuesday at 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. on the Facebook pages of ARTA, Flash Media, and DZME 1530 kHz.

The pilot episode of “ARTAhin Mo” will be streamed live tomorrow, Tuesday, 07 September.