NCCA Gallery opens Call for Exhibition Proposals

Every year, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Gallery opens its Call for Exhibition Proposals to the public. The Call is an opportunity for Filipino artists from different backgrounds, different affiliations, and different regions to be able to showcase their work to a wider audience without compromising their creative vision. All proposals shall be deliberated by the Exhibition Committee and the chosen exhibitions shall be executed with the support of the NCCA.

For 2022 exhibition, the NCCA Gallery is starting to accept submission from July, 15 2021 to September, 15 2021

Exhibition proposals may be submitted by any Filipino citizen or any group or institution based in the Philippines; offices within the Commission may submit exhibition proposals as part of celebrations, such as but not limited to: National Arts Month (February), Women’s Month (March), National Literature Month (April), Filipino Food Month (April), National Heritage Month (May), Indigenous Peoples Month (October), Museums and Galleries Month (October), and Library and Information Services Month (November).

Exhibition proposals shall be accepted only when these are submitted in writing and with proper supporting documentation.

For more information on the Call for 2022 Exhibition Proposals, please contact NCCA GALLERY SECRETARIAT through +63 (2) 8527-2192 local 328, email us at and or visit our website

ARTA commits to assisting MSMEs amid COVID-19 pandemic

29 June 2021 – The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) committed to assisting Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) who continue to feel the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Secretary Jeremiah Belgica on Monday, 28 June 2021, said the ARTA will request for the conduct of a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) on the requirements needed by MSMEs. This will help in eliminating redundant systems to make the application process smoother and more efficient for business owners.

The ARTA Director General said streamlining will ease the burden of MSMEs who are struggling to maintain their businesses amid the pandemic, leading to the country’s eventual economic recovery.

He called MSMEs “job creators” and “the backbone of the country’s economy” as they contribute 35.7 percent to the Philippines’ GDP, employ 62.5 percent of the country’s work force, and constitute 99.5 percent of all business establishments in the country.

“We believe that streamlining will lay the groundwork for the economy’s recovery from the pandemic. Kami po ay naniniwala na isa sa makakapagpagaan sa mga pasanin ng mga Pilipino, lalo na ngayong panahon ng pandemya, ay ang pagsasaayos ng ating mga proseso sa gobyerno,” he said in his opening statement during the Senate Hearing on the Effects of COVID-19 on Philippine Trade, Commerce, and Entrepreneurship on Monday.

“What we are seeking to impart is the importance of prioritizing what we can control and pursuing it with zeal. In our perspective, processes and regulations play a big role in supporting our country’s economy. If the processes do not fit the current situation, they will almost certainly fail. If we continue to operate in the old and traditional manner, we will hardly recover from this global crisis,” he added.

Belgica also enumerated some of the Authority’s initiatives in ensuring that doing business in the Philippines is easy and convenient.

Among these are the establishment of the Central Business Portal, a single digital platform for registering businesses in the country, which was done in partnership with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and other key agencies.

This reduced the length of days for registering a business from 33 days and 13 steps to only three days.

The Authority has also mandated local government units in the country to set up their electronic Business One-Stop Shops (eBOSS) that will lessen people-to-people contact, standardize documentary requirements, steps, and processing time, and weed out redundant processes.

As of May 31, at least 580 LGUs have been reported to be using eBOSS platforms.

As more Filipinos transitioned to the digital landscape amid the pandemic, the ARTA also signed a Joint Memorandum Circular to streamline the permitting process for the construction of telecommunications towers that led to faster connectivity.

Since it was issued on July 2020 up to present, the number of required permits went down from 30 to 8, the number of documentary requirements from 86 to 35, and the length of time for processing from 241 days to 16 days.

At least 26,636 pending permits for telco companies have been released since the JMC was signed as of writing.

Belgica vowed to continue working with other government agencies and LGUs to improve the country’s ease of doing business.

“ARTA is fully committed to assisting our micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Our efforts especially benefit ordinary players and small business people, as we push for service efficiency for all. All efforts and assistance for MSMEs are a significant step forward in terms of the ease of doing business in the country and the nation’s long-term and inclusive recovery,” he said.

Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, Sr. lauded ARTA for its initiatives in making

“Your presence really contributed to the ease of requirements for MSMEs,” he said.


ARTA to help DFA address delays in passport appointments

28 June 2021 – Secretary Jeremiah Belgica of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) said they will help the Department of Foreign Affairs in addressing delays in passport appointments.

The statement was made after Belgica personally went to the DFA Office of the Consular Affairs (DFA-OCA) at ASEANA Business Park in Parañaque City to renew his passport and inspect the processes in the office.

He said the main problem with the processes at DFA-OCA is their appointments system since he was able to process his passport renewal quickly.

Upon arrival, the Anti-Red Tape Secretary was met by a long queue of clients outside the office. The people in line were a mix of those who had appointments and those who decided to visit the office because they could not book appointments using the DFA-OCA website.

A Cavite resident, who said that he could not book an appointment for the renewal of his passport, told Belgica that he had been in line for at least three hours at DFA-OCA.

The DFA said that all the slots for passport appointments are taken as of now. They have been experiencing issues with freeing up slots for passport
appointments as early as January 2021.

It attributed the delays in processing of passport appointments to its lack of manpower. With the COVID-19 pandemic, DFA-OCA is operating at 30-percent working capacity and can only process 6,000 applications. Before the pandemic, the office could process up to 13,000 applications.

The DFA said it will increase the number of applications that they can process per day by 5,000 in July 2021.

“I think the problem talaga is yung kanilang appointment system dahil you can only accommodate so much, eh,” Belgica said.

“Pero we’re hopeful kasi by July 7, they would already be expanding ‘yung kanilang number of applications a day by 5,000, malaking bagay ‘yon… hopefully, mabalik natin ‘yung capacity na 13,000 or hopefully more pa,” he added.

The ARTA Director General recommended the placing of a Citizen’s Charter at a more visible place outside the office for the convenience of those falling in line.

He also asked DFA-OCA to allocate a proper space for those falling in line at the office as to not block the sidewalks.

Those who need to process their documents can send an email to DFA-OCA. Their contact details are indicated on their website at The office will then evaluate what action they can take.

Certain individuals are also eligible to access the “Courtesy Lane” at the office. These are senior citizens, persons with disabilities (PWDs), pregnant women, minors aged seven years old and below, solo parents, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and exceptional and emergency cases.

Those applying for the Courtesy Lane must go through the Passport Appointment System at Other requirements can be found at

Recently, ARTA and DFA held a meeting to discuss how the latter can streamline its processes and improve its services to the public.

Along the ways forward that Belgica proposed is the signing of a Joint Memorandum Circular with key agencies to eliminate redundant processes in passport appointments.