EO on expedited processing of infra flagship projects out soon

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EO on expedited processing of infra flagship projects out soon
Photo by Arun Clarke on Unsplash
  • President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. will soon sign an executive order that will expedite processing of licenses, clearances, permits, certifications, and authorizations for the administration’s infrastructure flagship projects
  • The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board confirmed the proposed EO
  • The EO will require all government offices, agencies, and instrumentalities, including LGIUs, to streamline the standard procedure and requirements for the IFPs
  • The NEDA Board also approved reconstitution of the NEDA Board Committee on Infrastructure to include the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and DICT as integral members of the committee
  • The Board endorsed the proposal to reduce tariffs on gypsum and anhydrite from 3% to zero

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. will soon sign an executive order that will expedite processing of licenses, clearances, permits, certifications, and authorizations for the administration’s infrastructure flagship projects (IFP), according to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board, chaired by Marcos, confirmed the proposed EO, as part of initiatives to advance infrastructure development approved by the NEDA Board. The Board met on September 21.

“The primary goal of the proposed EO is to minimize, if not eliminate, delays in the implementation of IFPs,” Balisacan said.

There are 194 IFPs with an indicative total project cost of P8.3 trillion that are part of the initial list of IFPs. Majority or 119 are under physical connectivity and transportation-related projects. The projects are in various stages of implementation.

The EO will require all government offices, agencies, and instrumentalities, including local government units (LGU), to streamline the standard procedure and requirements for the IFPs.

The simplified requirements will be applicable to both pending and new applications within the NEDA Board approved list of IFPs, as well as any additions to the updated IFP list, Balisacan noted.

Additionally, the EO will facilitate electronic application submissions to the concerned agencies and LGUs, including the payments and issuance of receipts.

It is also aimed to encourage a whole-of-government approach by directing national government agencies to automate and computerize their databases.

“This will promote data sharing among government agencies in order to eliminate the unnecessary duplication of document submission,” Balisacan noted.

LGUs will be mandated to establish business one-stop shops and are encouraged to coordinate with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to adopt interoperable information and communications technology (ICT) platforms.

In line with this, the Anti-Red Tape Authority, in coordination with NEDA, will establish a reporting framework to track agencies’ compliance.

The NEDA Board also approved the reconstitution of the NEDA Board Committee on Infrastructure (INFRACOM) to include the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and DICT as integral members of the committee.

Balisacan said DENR’s inclusion in the INFRACOM “underscores the government’s commitment to ensuring that infrastructure development takes into account critical elements such as ecosystem protection, rehabilitation and management, sustainability, and resilience.”

He said this ensures representation of the water sector, considering the recently established Water Resource Management Office within the DENR.

DICT, meanwhile, will play a vital role in appropriately integrating ICT-related considerations in the committee’s deliberations and decisions as they recognize the continued significance of ICT in overall infrastructure development.

The NEDA Board also confirmed the overall principles and general recommendations for the proposed National Government-Local Government Unit Cost-Sharing schemes for financing infrastructure projects.

This aims to delineate the roles of the national government and the LGUs, particularly in resource-poor areas or where resources may be needed to carry out the devolved functions and shared between the national government and LGUs.

Reduced tariff on gypsum and anhydrite

Lastly, the NEDA Board endorsed the proposal to reduce tariffs on gypsum and anhydrite from 3% to zero.

Balisacan noted that natural gypsum and anhydrite are not produced locally. These raw materials are used in the production of plasterboard and cement, which are commonly used in construction.

“With the reduction in tariffs, we anticipate a decrease in production costs and an improvement in the industry’s competitiveness as we ramp up our infrastructure drive,” Balisacan said.