ARTA: LGU’s tax collection for transport of goods, pass through illegal

Published March 20, 2021, 8:00 AM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Ease of Doing Business and Anti-Red Tape Advisory Council has moved to suspend local government units’ (LGUs) imposition and collection of taxes and fees for the transport of goods and products, and pass through fees.

Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) Director General Jeremiah Belgica said the Advisory Council will also be endorsing the Joint Memorandum Circular being drafted by ARTA, Department of Interior and Local Governments, Department of Finance, and the Bureau of Local Government Finance which will provide omnibus guidelines on the suspension of LGU impositions and collection of illegal fees and taxes relative to the transport of goods and products. 

Among others, Belgica said, the memorandum will move to repeal policies, issuances, or ordinances imposing pass-through fees in several LGUs.

Belgica said this is in line with the continuing efforts byARTA eliminate redtape in government and to harmonize existing Ease Of Doing Business (EODB) platforms of the government into a single platform.

Next month, April, ARTA, is set to launch this April the Go SmARTApp, a single platform that will harmonize the existing systems of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the DILG, and other government agencies that aim to simplify government transactions and doing business in the country.

The platform, initially intended solely for use of local government units for their business permit and licensing system and all other government services being offered to the public, will also be incorporating the national government’s COVID-19 contact tracing application and the DICT’s Electronic Business Permits and Licensing System or eBPLS software, per the Ease of Doing Business and Anti-Red Tape Advisory Council’s endorsement during its meeting yesterday. 

ARTA is also discussing with DILG and the Department of Social Welfare and Development the inclusion in the platform of the fund transfer feature of the Social Amelioration Funds to beneficiaries.

The Go SmARTApp, which will be a donation of the Multisys Technologies Corporation to ARTA, will be a rebranding of the Smart City Platform. It is seen to significantly streamline he ease of doing business and anti-red tape reform initiatives of the government through its automation features and capabilities.