ARTA, Meralco extend digitalization aid to 166 LGUs

At a glance

  • ARTA said 27 of the intended 166 LGUs will receive 500 computer units and training from ARTA, Meralco, and other partner agencies.

  • Meralco said it will not stop with just 500 computers.

  • Featured photo from the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA)

A total of 166 local government units (LGUs) will soon have their own fully streamlined and digitalized electronic Business One-Stop Shop (eBOSS) after the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) and the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) inked a partnership that aimed to streamline and automate government services.

The ARTA said this after it launched the "Paspas Pilipinas Paspas" project, a public-private partnership in collaboration with the departments of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Association of Business Permits and Licensing Officers (NABPLO).

In his speech during the event's launch on Friday, ARTA director-general Secretary Ernesto Perez said the project fulfills President Marcos' directive to streamline and automate government services to ensure regulatory competitiveness that will entice foreign and local investments.

Ultimately, the project "aims to improve the country's economy and provide a more responsive and efficient public service delivery to the Filipino people."

The project intends end-to-end assistance to LGU beneficiaries, from the initial distribution of 500 computer units and capacity-building training to using the integrated Business Processing and Licensing System (iBPLS), a free software developed by the DICT.

The first batch of the targeted 166 beneficiaries of the project is 27 LGUs, specifically in:

  • Cavite—Alfonso, General Trias, and Silang
  • Laguna—Bay, Cabuyao, Calamba, Luisiana, Pila, Rizal, San Pablo, San Pedro, and Victoria
  • Bulacan—Bulacan, Bustos, Paombong, Angat, Bocaue, and Hagonoy
  • Quezon Province—Candelaria, Lucban, Tayabas, and Tiaong
  • Rizal—Jalajala, Morong, Pililla, and Taytay.

In his remarks, Meralco Vice President and Head of Legal William Pamintuan said Meralco would not stop with just 500 computers.

"We will accept the challenge of the [ARTA] Secretary for us expanding for some more," he said.

"Hindi po tayo hihinto Secretary [Perez] until magkaroon ng 100 percent compliance yung report niyo kanina (We will not stop until we reach 100-percent compliance). And now we hope that the 402 who are non-compliant will be compliant within the year," he added.

Based on the compliance checklist of ARTA - Compliance Monitoring and Evaluation Office (CMEO), only 1,232 out of 1,634 cities and municipalities, or 75.93 percent, have submitted the status of their business permitting systems to ARTA.

Meanwhile, only 506 or 31 percent of all these LGUs have reported having a fully or partially automated eBOSS.

" Meralco is one with ARTA in leveraging technology to empower economic recovery of one business at a time," Pamintuan said.

ARTA has been conducting inspections to validate these submissions. It has so far officially recognized six cities in Metro Manila, namely, Paranaque City, Quezon City, Manila, Muntinlupa City, Valenzuela City, and Navotas City, for having a fully functional eBOSS.

Meanwhile, Perez said ARTA is continuously interconnecting regulating agencies and major telco players to improve internet connectivity in the localities as it is one of the major issues cited by LGUs that hamper their full implementation of the eBOSS.