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ARTA: Many agencies not ready for flagship-project streamlining

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PHILIPPINE STAR/WALTER BOLLOZOS

THE Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) said delays in digitizing the permit processes of National Government (NG) agencies and local government units (LGUs) are hindering the streamlining of applications for infrastructure flagship projects (IFPs).

On the sidelines of the signing of the implementing rules and regulations of Executive Order (EO) No. 59 on Tuesday, ARTA Secretary Ernesto V. Perez told BusinessWorld: “Right now, not all LGUs and National Government agencies are fully computerized or fully online,” Mr. Perez said.

“This is why the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is very keen on capacitating LGUs to comply with this requirement,” he added.

EO 59 tasked ARTA with accelerating the progress of IFPs by simplifying the system for obtaining permits before the projects can proceed.

Mr. Perez also said EO 59 can also help ARTA speed up the takeup of its own electronic business one-stop shop (eBOSS) system, by obliging NG agencies to also adopt eBOSS in some form.

“To me this is a test case. If we can be successful in the big-ticket infrastructure projects, we can also apply this even to small businesses,” he said.

Asked about the response of the private sector, he said that the Private Sector Advisory Council, Management Association of the Philippines and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry have been very supportive.

“Even foreign chambers like the British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines were upbeat,” Mr. Perez said.

“Most of our investors are foreigners and they are very optimistic about EO 59,” he added.

Signed on April 30, EO 59 aims to eliminate delays in the issuance of licenses, clearances, permits, certifications, or authorizations to ensure timely completion of the IFPs.

According to the National Economic and Development Authority, the government has a pipeline of 185 IFPs valued at P9.54 trillion. — Justine Irish D. Tabile

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