Post-SONA Forum: ARTA resolves challenges and moves forward to improve bureaucratic efficiency under PBBM’s Socioeconomic Agenda

30 July 2023 – Following the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. on 24 July 2023, Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) Secretary Ernesto V. Perez attended the Post-SONA Forum hosted by the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) and Presidential Communications Office (PCO) on 26 July 2023 along with key government officials to discuss the administration’s programs and strategies in maintaining ‘good governance, peace and security.’

Secretary Perez highlighted ARTA’s most notable accomplishments this year, including the successful organization of the two Telco Workshops for Process Mapping the Energization of Telecommunications Towers, which led to the President’s signing of Executive Order No. 32, series of 2023. This order streamlines the permitting process for the construction of telecommunications and internet infrastructure.

ARTA also issued Joint Memorandum Circulars with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to address the bottlenecks in the construction of shared Passive Telecommunications Tower Infrastructure (PTTIs). As a result, the number of permits was reduced from 13 to eight, the documentary requirements were lessened from 86 to 35, and the processing days were reduced from 241 to merely 16. This fast-tracked process has contributed significantly to the acceleration of the country’s Internet speed.

Another significant achievement by ARTA is the increasing compliance with the establishment of electronic Business One Stop Shops (eBOSS) in local government units (LGUs), as mandated by RA 11032. The eBOSS serves as a centralized online platform that automates all business applications, renewals, certifications or authorizations in cities and municipalities, making government procedures more accessible and efficient.

In regular visits and inspections by ARTA, several LGUs who have established a fully functional eBOSS have reported significant increases in their business tax collection. This has helped to improve the social services provided by these LGUs.

ARTA has also established a valuable partnership with the 8888 Citizens Complaint Center (CCC) through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA ). This MOA formalizes the public feedback mechanism for stakeholders to lodge complaints against unresponsive agencies. It also empowers the 8888 CCC to file formal complaints with ARTA against these government institutions, ensuring prompt action and resolution.

These initiatives, alongside other ongoing efforts by ARTA, demonstrate the organization’s unwavering commitment to supporting the President’s vision of transforming the government and driving the nation toward progress and development.

In addition to its work on the eBOSS and the telecommunications industry, ARTA has made strides in other several areas, such as training government agencies in regulatory impact assessment (RIA), which aids in the identification and simplification of unnecessary regulatory requirements; launching a new Report Card Survey (RCS) 2.0, which assesses how well government agencies perform in terms of the ease of doing business; and establishing regional field offices to help with regulatory compliance.

ARTA’s recent victories illustrate the agency’s dedication to accomplishing its purpose of combating bureaucratic red tape and promoting ease of doing business in the Philippines. These initiatives are consistent with President Marcos’ objective of developing an integrated and efficient bureaucracy to aid economic recovery.

Moreover, the Authority is all set to continue revving up their inspections, EODB orientations, and capacity-building programs among LGUs and covered agencies. Through the continuous mobilizations of Regional Field Offices (RFOs) in the localities, the expanding awareness campaign of the EODB Law will empower more public and private stakeholders in promoting the efficiency and accessibility of government services nationwide.

Secretary Perez vowed commitment to fulfilling its aim of expediting government operations and improving bureaucratic efficiency. With the support of the President and the Filipino people, ARTA believes it can achieve its goals and establish a vibrant business environment and a more equitable society in the Philippines.

“[The President] He really feels the pulse of the people… he will always think about ‘Dapat hindi natin pinapahirapan ‘yung taumbayan; Dapat walang red tape; Kaya’t makakaasa po ang ating kababayan sa pamumuno po ng ating Presidente,” the ARTA Chief said in the Post-SONA Forum.

“And we, at the Anti-Red Tape Authority, as an agency under the Office of the President, tasked to implement the national policy on ease of doing business and anti-red tape programs, makakaasa po ang mga businessmen na dito po sa Pilipinas mayroong ease of doing business,” he added.