MANILA - The Anti Red Tape Authority on Monday launched an ARTA Action Center in partnership with the SM City Manila to ensure fast and reliable processes of select government transactions.
The center, which will take complaints and comments from the public regarding government services, will be manned by ARTA officials as well as volunteers from the Manila Local Government, the agency said.
ARTA Director General Secretary Jeremiah Belgica said they hope to replicate the Action Center across the SM group's many Government Service Express locations across the Philippines.
SM Supermalls Senior Vice President Bien Mateo said cutting red tape would be key for the ongoing economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We believe that giving them access to improved and efficient process of doing business will help them bounce back stronger, and we want them to be more competitive as we enable them to grow their business in our environment," Mateo said.
"We want to help them on their post pandemic journey to recovery, and through eliminating excessive bureaucracy, we know they can expand their businesses much faster and pour in more investments," he added.
But there are certain roadblocks for the ARTA Action Centers including the lack of manpower, ARTA Deputy Director General for Administration and Finance Usec. Carlos Quita said.
The agency has regular 208 workers, he said, adding that tapping the LGUs would boost the success of the action centers.
Belgica, meanwhile, hopes the next administration would continue its support for all ARTA initiatives.
Belgica stressed that both the public and private sectors need to come together to encourage innovation and streamline the processes so that doing business in the Philippines becomes easier.
Enterprising individuals must not be discouraged from creating solutions or developing new products and services, as these initiatives can lead to more economic activity and growth, he said.
"I am confident that even the next administration would agree that this is a good project between SM and government," Belgica said.
The ARTA Action Centers are focused on expediting government services by enforcing ARTA’s 3-7-20 rule on pending applications.
The 3-7-20 rule means there should only be a processing time of 3 days for simple transactions, 7 days for complex transactions and 20 days for highly technical applications.