Gov’t lays down rules for regulatory relief

The Department of Finance (DOF) assured that the government will practice prudence in granting regulatory relief to projects deemed critical to the Philippines’ economic recovery.

In a statement, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the DOF-led committee tasked to identify qualified private sector projects for regulatory relief will not adopt “blanket” rules for them.

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"It will not be granting blanket relief as the committee will still carefully consider the over-all contribution of the projects and their impact on the general health and welfare of the public,” Dominguez said.

The committee, chaired by Dominguez, was created by the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 11494 or the Bayanihan To Recover As One Act (Bayanihan 2).

Aside from the DOF, the committee also includes the secretaries of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as members.

Under the law, the DOF, DENR and DTI secretaries have the power to waive specific permits, licenses, certificates, clearances, consents, authorizations, or resolutions that are required before any project can commence.

But the with regulatory relief, projects that are determined to be “nationally significant”, ”with high economic returns” or “with high employment potential” will enjoy certain exemptions from government regulators.

In identifying which covered projects shall be granted regulatory relief, the committee will evaluate them on “a per-requirement basis,” Dominguez said.

The committee will also determine the economic and social impact of the project—economic returns, job generation potential, effect on the delivery of critical services—on both the national and local economies.  

"The Committee will work towards achieving the goal of the Bayanihan 2 to spur investments by speeding up the approval and implementation of private investments, stimulate economic activity and create jobs,” Dominguez said.

These regulatory relief measures, however, excluded those relating to taxes, duties, border control and environmental laws and regulations, Dominguez said.

The authority of the committee, meanwhile, “shall be valid during the state of national emergency as declared by the President and the economic rehabilitation period or until the last day of June 2022, whichever is later.”