By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) directed all government agencies to submit a list of all their pending government contracts not later than December 9, 2019.
This is contained in a memorandum circular 2019-003 signed by ARTA Director General Jeremiah Belgica and Deputy Director General Ernesto Perez to effect President Duterte’s directive to have all pending government transactions acted on by December 15, 2019.
Under the circular, ARTA directs all government offices and agencies to submit to ARTA, on or before December 9, 2019, the consolidated list of all pending contracts and government services, including the status of these contracts/services, and recommended action on said contracts/services.
The said memorandum applies to all government agencies covered by RA 11032, specifically all government offices and agencies in the executive department including local government units, government -owned or -controlled corporations, and other government instrumentalities, located in the Philippines or abroad that provide services covering business-related and nonbusiness transactions.
In particular, ARTA has put focused on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as President Duterte has reiterated his intent to primarily address the slow processing time in availing government services which continues to be a source of corruption.
In line with this, Belgica also met again with the officials of the FDA. ARTA issued an Order of Automatic Approval and/or Renewal for all applications with the agency which it represented as purely ministerial last September 9, 2019.
Also present in the meeting was Ease of Doing Business and Anti-Red Tape Advisory Council member Peter Wallace. During the meeting, FDA presented the updates on their revised Citizen’s Charter, the status and timeline of the implementation of their proposed process improvements, and updates on the list of companies granted with automatic approval and/or automatic renewal in accordance with the abovementioned ARTA Order.
Belgica, Deputy Director General Perez, Wallace recommended more improvements in the processing time and procedures in the issuance of its licenses and permits.
The ARTA czar also commended the efforts of FDA in improving their services after being previously tagged as a red tape-ridden agency.
“Among the agencies that we have identified to be red tape-ridden, FDA has been the most open and in constant communication with ARTA,” Belgica added.