- The Anti-Red Tape Authority officially launched on January 12 the pilot implementation of the Unified Logistics Pass
- The ULP is a single pass in the form of a Quick Response code that will be issued to cargo trucks to ensure unhampered flow of goods
- It aims to eliminate various permits, licenses, and pass-through stickers required by economic zones, ports, and local government units
The pass will be implemented on varying dates in nine pilot sites from January to February
ULP streamlines documentary requirements by 73% and cut processing time by 87%
The World Bank said the Philippine government can save over P1.9 billion in funds with the single pass
With ULP, trucking companies will be able to simultaneously apply for accreditation with port authorities and/or special economic zones
The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) officially launched the pilot implementation of the Unified Logistics Pass (ULP), a single pass in the form of a quick response (QR) code that will be issued to cargo trucks to ensure unhampered flow of goods.
The ULP aims to eliminate various permits, licenses, and pass-through stickers required by economic zones, ports, and local government units (LGU) to facilitate movement and ease of port-entry of cargo trucks.
It will be implemented in nine pilot sites on the following dates:
- Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority – January 18-19, 2022
- Clark Development Corp. – January 19-21, 2022
- Cavite Export Processing Zone – January 26, 2022
- Port of Manila – February 2, 2022
- Manila North Harbor Port, Inc.– February 2, 2022
- Manila Harbor Center Port Services, Inc. – February 3, 2022
- Manila International Container Terminal – February 3, 2022
- Batangas International Port – February 9, 2022
- Matnog Port –February 9-13, 2022
During the virtual ceremonial launch on January 12, the memorandum of agreement and joint memorandum circular on ULP’s pilot implementation were signed by various government agencies.
Trucking companies can secure the ULP when they apply for a Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and/or when they apply for accreditation/registration with special economic zones.
Through a unified application form with the LTFRB, ARTA said trucking companies will be able to simultaneously apply for accreditation with port authorities and/or special economic zones, among others. Fees for accreditation or registration with different entities will also be paid through a single window or through a business one-stop shop.
Once the application is approved, applicants will be given a QR code which can be scanned by different government authorities, including port authorities, special economic zones, and LGUs.
ARTA deputy director general for operations Ernesto Perez said no extra cost is required for the ULP other than the usual payments required by government offices for claiming CPCs.
Perez said ARTA took its cue for the ULP from the successful implementation of the RapidPass system.
ULP to bring big savings
Citing data from the World Bank Group (WBG), Perez said the ULP system is projected to streamline documentary requirements from 209 to 56 or by about 73%,and cut processing time from 271 days to 35 days or by 87%.
Using standard model cost calculation, the WBG said the Philippine government can save over P1.9 billion in funds with the ULP.
ARTA director general Jeremiah Belgica said implementation of the ULP will also lower the cost of basic goods by eliminating various port and pass-through fees that truckers have to pay and eventually pass on to clients.
“The full implementation of the ULP will definitely lower the cost of products as well, at least that is what we are hoping to achieve. This would and should really have a massive impact on the lives of the simple Juan Dela Cruz, the simple Filipino who is just really making sure that he would be able to make ends meet during this pandemic,” Belgica said.
Perez said the ULP can “mitigate road traffic” since trucks that have the ULP should not be stopped by government and traffic authorities for pass inspection. He also said it would rid the country’s roads of non-franchised or colorum container trucks as the ULP will only be issued to legitimate holders of CPC.
Stakeholders, especially truckers, have long complained about pass-through fees collected by LGUs, especially LGUs in Metro Manila.
The ULP is a migration from RapidPass, an online system implemented in 2020 giving frontliners and Allowed Persons Outside of Residences quick passage through checkpoints in Metro Manila during community quarantine periods.
RapidPass developer Developers Connect Philippines, Inc. (DevCon) and DICT are assisting in the ULP project.
Signatories to the MOA and JMC include LTFRB, DICT, Land Transportation Office, Department of Trade and Industry, Philippine Economic Zone Authority, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Philippine Ports Authority, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Clark Development Corporation, and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.
Other signatories are port operators Asian Terminals Inc., International Container Terminal Services, Inc.; Manila Harbor Center Port Services, Inc.; Manila North Harbour Port, Inc.; and partners University of the Philippines Public Administration Research and Extension Services-Regulatory Reform Support Program for National Development and DevCon.
The MOA provides the framework for cooperation, collaboration and resource-sharing between the parties to enable the implementation of the ULP.
It includes key performance indicators for measuring success of the pilot implementation and for gathering more relevant and useful data during system implementation.
For turnover to LTFRB
Under the MOA, once the pilot implementation of the ULP is complete, the LTFRB will be the owner and lead implementer of the system. Prior to turnover, DevCon will act as safekeeper/custodian.
The system is expected to be turned over to LTFRB from May until June, subject to two months extension if needed.
Mobile scanners donated by DOST-National Capital Region for scanning the QR codes will also be donated to LTFRB.
The JMC, meanwhile, contains general provisions reflecting the participating agencies’ agreement to the full implementation of the ULP, particularly to streamlined/integrated process and requirements for the application of the ULP.
The ULP is part of ARTA’s National Effort for the Harmonization of Efficient Measures of Inter-related Agencies or Project NEHEMIA. Launched in March 2020, Project NEHEMIA is a sector-based streamlining effort that involves both capacity building with identified agencies and public hearings with stakeholders regarding existing and new regulations.
Logistics is one of five sectors included in the first phase of Project NEHEMIA. Under the project, the goal is to reduce within 52 weeks the time, cost, requirements, and procedures involved in government transactions in sectors of economic and social significance.
In October 2020, ARTA launched Project NEHEMIA for the logistics sector to integrate all the “sticker requirements” imposed on cargo trucks by concerned government agencies and LGUs. – Roumina Pablo