Unified logistics pass to save sector P2 B

Published January 12, 2022, 2:22 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Government agencies kicked off the pilot implementation of the Unified Logistics Pass (ULP), which streamlined procedures that reduced bureaucratic red tape is expected to result in almost P2 billion in savings for the logistics sector.

Spearheaded by the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), the pilot run is expected to be completed in the second quarter this year covering pilot 9 major ports in the country.

ARTA Logo

Secretary Jeremiah B. Belgica, who is also Director General of ARTA, said at the ceremonial launch and signing of the Joint Memorandum Circular that the pilot run ports are chosen for they are the main areas with the most traffic and choke points. He said the pilot ULP is not made that stringent to allowHh

Based on the World Bank estimate, P1.920 billion are expected from the streamlined procedure of the ULP in terms of tariff for companies and professionals, middlemen, and opportunity cost. Prior to the reform, the industry has been losing P2.229 billion.

The ULP also reduces the steps in the logistics processes by 73 percent to 56 from the current 209 and time spent by 87 percent to 35 from 271.

Nine government agencies signed the JMC with the Land Transportation, Franchising and Regulatory Board of the Department of Transportation as key implementing agency. Also signing the JMC are development partners and cooperating partners.

JMC signatories include the DOTr, LTFRB, Land Transportation Office, Department of Trade and Industry, Philippine Economic Zone Authority, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of ICT, Philippine Ports Authority, Department of Science and Technology, Clark Development Corp, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, and ARTA. The JMC also applies to local Chief Executives and offices of all cities and municipalities.

Undersecretary Ernesto V. Perez said there will be hundreds of LGU passes that will be removed with the implementation of the ULP as most LGUs implement pass through fees for truckers in their respective municipalities. “This will eliminate hundreds of passes that will be required for each cargo truck to be put on their windshield into just one,” said Perez.

The project received P2.3 million fund from the DOST to DevCon while the implementation and technical support was provided by the US Agency for International Development.

In his speech, Belgica emphasized the role of ARTA to assist government agencies to reengineer their

processes so they can develop policies and procedures that would make services more accessible and efficient for the stakeholders and the general public.

But, he likewise stressed that ARTA has also the enforcement function. Thus, ARTA files cases, investigate, or even do entrapment for those who insist on going on with the previous way that is excessive bureaucratic red tape.

“It is about time to break that stereotype that government services are inefficient and sluggish. It is about time for us to continue this train of reform and continue on the momentum as we approach the tail-end of this administration’s term,” he said.

Wilma Eisma, chairperson and administrator of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, cited the ULP as a very timely and important in making things easier for investors and businessmen all over the country amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic

Aside from making ease of doing business in the country faster and without redtape, the ULP would help in mitigating smuggling at the ports. She noted that SBMA has the Subic Bay port and soon an airport.

On the part of PEZA, Director General Charito B. Plaza said the ULP will benefit its 4,670 locator companies in 415 ecozones that directly employ 1.7 million workers. Plaza noted that 64 percent of Philippine exports of goods come from the PEZA ecozones.

“Thus, the seamless passage of cargo trucks will contribute in unhampered flow of goods needed in production for the export market to boost the global supply chain,” she said.

 
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