How is ARTA addressing government agencies' backlog transactions?

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 25 2022 06:22 PM

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MANILA - The country's Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) on Friday warned government agencies of their failure to fast track the approval of permit and license applications, as they push for a zero-backlog program.

According to ARTA Director General Jeremiah Belgica, they seek the approval of some transactions within the same day these are filed.

ARTA is also pushing for the complete digitalization of transactions as they continue to streamline processes with agencies and local government offices, Belgica said.

He also touted how the permitting system in the telecommunications sector sped up, from an average of 6,000 a year permits issued to some 45,000 in a company alone. 

"Wala pa doon yung ibang telecommunications companies... Talagang napakalaki po ng changes sa mga bagay na 'yon, ganoon din naman yung streamlining na ginagawa natin, na ginawa sa pagtulong sa iba't-ibang LGUs sa pagtatayo ng kanilang business one-stop-shop," the official said in an interview on PTV. 

(Other telcom companies are not there yet. The changes on those things have been huge. We continue to streamline and help other LGUs also in establishing their business one-stop-shop.)

"Ang nais natin dito ay hindi na umabot ng araw pero on the same day ay makuha mo din ang business permit," he added.

Aside from these, Belgica said ARTA also shortened the processing of construction permits filed by local government units from 5 days to 3 days. 

There were also automatic approvals of permits and licenses that were pending for too long.

"Automatic approval ng mga nabibinbin ng permit and licenses, tinutulungan natin, mayroon na tayong mahigit 8,000 na permits and licenses na idineklarang automatically approved," he said. 

(There is automatic approval of permit and licenses that took too long to approved. We have over 8,000 permits and licenses declared automatically approved.)

He also urged government offices and agencies to implement their zero-backlog policy. 

If documents were still not processed despite the completion of application and its full payment, an official could get suspended for at least 6 months during their first offense and dismissal from public service or perpetual disqualification to hold a public post for second offense.

"Higit pa riyan, kapag ang ahensya po ay hindi nagpapatupad ng zero-backlog policy, hindi lang yung actual penalty ang puwedeng makuha nila, pero yung trust din po ng kababayan sa kanilang opisina ay bumababa," he warned.

(If agencies will not implement their zero-backlog policy, the penalties are not the only thing they could get -- public trust in their office could also be affected.)

ARTA earlier said it will conduct a 3-7-20 Zero Backlog Policy campaign next week to urge the public and agencies to know more about the program.

Government agencies must implement the 3-7-20 policy which equates to the processing time of only be 3 days for simple transactions, 7 days for complex transactions and 20 days for highly technical applications, Belgica earlier said.