MANILA – The Philippines seeks to clinch a top 40 percent spot in the World Bank's annual Doing Business report, as its anti-red tape body leads efforts in digitalizing government agencies, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
At a webinar organized by the National Capital Region chapter of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI-NCR), Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) Director General Jeremiah Belgica said automation and digitalization are key in achieving this feat.
For one, the agency has been collaborating with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in implementing a universal digital signature system for all government agencies.
ARTA is also accelerating the launch of the Central Business Portal (CBP) by the end of 2021, which would complement its recently launch National Business One-stop Shop (NBOSS).
The CBP can accommodate applications and application data involving business-related transactions and provide links to the application system of other national government agencies.
NBOSS, on the other hand, integrates the registration processes of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Social Security System, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG) for one-person corporation applicants.
Belgica said they plan to have secondary government agencies like the Food and Drug Authority as well as some local government units to be part of the central business portal by the third quarter of next year.
"For the LGUs, by the first quarter next year, we hope that the highly urbanized cities would have their end-to-end electronic business one-stop shops."
In light of these targets, ARTA aims to fully launch the CBP by the end, or the third quarter of 2021.
Belgica said processing time of addressing contractual claims less than P400,000 has now been reduced to 30 days from 700 days.
"I do believe that the initiatives that we have right now is leading to a better investment atmosphere for the Philippines," Belgica said.