ARTA calls out LTFRB, BAI

Published February 18, 2021, 3:43 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) has called out Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) for failure to comply with the ease of doing business directives.

ARTA Director General Jeremiah Belgica called out these agencies after conducting surprise inspections at the offices of these agencies to monitor compliance with the provisions of Republic Act 11032 and the President’s mandate against long queues and backlogs in all government agencies.

Belgica pointed out that while LTFRB and BAI have submitted to ARTA their updated Citizen’s Charter, both have failed to post them at their main entrance or at the most conspicuous place as mandated under Section 6 of R.A. 11032. Posting the updated Citizen’s Charter is part of agency compliance which may also be done by using a bulletin type television that can be seen immediately by the transacting public. This is in addition to the ARTA Desk or the Public Assistance and Complaints Desk that is also required by law for all agencies.

Despite this, the ARTA czar recognized the improvement in the processing of applications by LTFRB since 2019 and commends their use of online hearings in processing submissions.

The ARTA chief meanwhile directed BAI to fast-track their automation efforts. He urged BAI to fast track its automation efforts towards an end to end system. For instance, he said permits can be printed at the convenience of the applicant’s home or can be delivered via courier. He said after discovering that some of the applicants on site need only to claim their permits. 

ARTA commended the presence of a one-stop shop at the BAI but recommended that the agency incorporate the frontline services of all other offices to eliminate the burden on the applicants of having to complete their application from one place to another. He stressed that documents must be processed immediately, instead of applicants going around to have their papers processed.

Belgica stressed the importance of streamlining and automating BAI’s services in reducing the prices of goods being regulated by the agency. If only, BAI can streamline their operations and facilitate the release of permits the agency can help these applicants start their businesses immediately and reduce prices of meat products.

Belgica sternly reminded the agencies to ensure that all applications are processed within the law’s 3-7-20 processing time which mandates that all simple transactions must be acted upon within three working days, complex transactions within seven working days, and highly technical transactions within 20 working days.

Following the inspections, ARTA has requested from both agencies a copy of the list of all their pending applications which are already fully paid and complete in requirements. 

Belgica has also called out all other government agencies to already set up their Commission on Anti-Red Tape or CART to ensure compliance with the EODB Law.

ARTA will be conducting more surprise inspection in select branches of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Bureau of Immigration, Bureau of Customs, Land Transportation Office, Register of Deeds, and Social Security System.