House eyes to pass anti-red tape measure before adjourning special session

Published October 15, 2020, 1:20 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

Before it adjourns its four-day special session, the House of Representatives is seeking to pass on third and final reading a measure seeking to authorize the President to expedite the processing and issuance of national and local permits, licenses, and certificates during times of national emergencies.


House Majority Leader and Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin Romualdez assured this, saying that that once they receive the letter of certification from Malacañang, the 299-man Lower Chamber will not think twice in passing the anti-red tape measure on third and final reading before their special session ends tomorrow. 

“Upon the directive of the President and the instruction of Speaker [Lord Allan] Velasco, the House of Representatives will work on the passage of the anti-red tape measure before we adjourn the special session,” he said in a statement,  a day after the Senate passed its own version of the bill, which was certified as urgent by President Duterte. 

In giving in to the desire of the President to streamline the issuance of licenses and permits during national emergencies, the House leaders, led by Velasco filed on Wednesday evening House Bill (HB) No. 7884, which authorizes the President to expedite the processing and issuance of national and local permits, licenses, and certifications to “accelerate the country’s socioeconomic recovery and ensure an effective government response to the present health crisis.”

“Under the leadership of Speaker Velasco, we are in full support of the marching orders from President Duterte for Congress to go all out in helping curb red tape and corruption in all levels of governance,” Romualdez said.

“We have to help the President in his campaign to put a stop to deep-rooted, systemic and systematic corruption in government.”

HB No. 7884 grants President Duterte the authority to suspend the requirements for national and local permits, licenses and certifications, and to streamline and expedite the processing for the issuance of the same in times of national emergency.

Covered by the measure are all agencies of the Executive branch, including departments, bureaus, offices, commissions, boards, councils; government instrumentalities, government owned and controlled corporations.

“One of the strategic measures is to reduce transaction costs in all government agencies and provide an efficient delivery of its services while maintaining integrity and accountability in government service and the promotion of transparency in the transactions of the government with the public, encompassing a program for the adoption of simplified requirements and procedures,” Velasco and Romualdez said in their bill’s explanatory note.

 HB 7884 grants the President the authority to accelerate and streamline regulatory processes and procedures for new and pending applications and renewals of permits, licenses, clearances, certifications or authorizations. It also empowers the President to fix or shorten the periods for the processing and release of these documents.

The measure also authorizes the President to suspend or waive the requirements in securing such permits, licenses, clearances, certifications or authorizations.

Under the bill, the permanent streamlining of regulatory processes and procedures, and the suspension or waiver of the requirements in securing the documents may be prescribed in consultation with or upon the recommendation of the affected government agencies.

HB 7884 also authorizes the President to suspend or remove, any government official or employee performing acts contrary to the measure consistent with Article VII Sections 1 and 17 of the Constitution, the Revised Administrative Code, other existing laws, and jurisprudence.

Other authors of the bill are Reps. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez (Tingog party-list), Weslie Gatchalian (Valenzuela City), Wilter “Sharky” Wee Palma II (Zamboanga Sibugay), Alfredo A. Garbin Jr. (Ako Bicol party-list), Juan Miguel “Mikey” Macapagal Arroyo (Pampanga), Michael John R. Duavit (Rizal), Jesus Crispin C. Remulla (Cavite), Wilfrido Mark M. Enverga (Quezon), Xavier Jesus D. Romualdo (Camiguin), Sharon S. Garin (AAMBIS-OWA party-list), Julienne “Jam” L. Baronda (Iloilo City), Kristine Singson-Meehan (Ilocos Sur), Bernadette “BH” Herrera (Bagong Henerasyon party-list), Jose “Bonito” C. Singson Jr. (Probinsyano Ako party-list), Doy C. Leachon (Oriental Mindoro), Michael “Mikee” L. Romero, Eric M. Martinez (Valenzuela City), Arnolfo “Arnie” A. Teves Jr. (Negros Oriental), Francisco “Kiko” B. Benitez (Negros Occidental), Munir M. Arbison (Sulu), Michael Edgar Y. Aglipay (DIWA party-list), Joseph Stephen “Caraps” S. Paduano (Abang Lingkod), and John Reynald M. Tiangco (Navotas).