President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act (EGSDA) of 2018, which seeks to shorten the number of days in processing permits and licenses of all business-related transactions in the Philippines.
Signed on May 28, Republic Act (RA) No. 11032 also includes stricter rules like the two-strike policy for government officials who will fail to issue permits in the given period.
RA 11032 amends Republic Act No. 9485, otherwise known as the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) secretary Ramon Lopez expressed optimism that the newly enacted law will make doing business in the country easier by promoting government efficiency.
“Under the EODB/Efficient Government Act, businesses can expect streamlined processes, reduced processing times from all government agencies, including government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs). Government agencies shall be made to comply with the prescribed processing time: three working days for simple transactions, seven working days for complex transactions, and 20 working days for highly technical transactions,” Lopez said in a statement.
The EODB-EGSDA requires all local government units (LGUs) to streamline procedures in the issuance of business permits, clearance, and other types of authorization by implementing a unified business application form. LGUs are mandated to set up a business one-stop shop (BOSS) to facilitate business permits application. The law also provides that barangay clearances and permits must be issued at the city or municipality to speed up transactions.
Apart from streamlining, the law also provides for the creation of a central business portal that will receive and capture application data on business-related transactions, while a Philippine business databank will provide LGUs and national government agencies access to information to verify the validity and existence of businesses. With this, businesses are not required to submit the same documentary requirement previously submitted.
Lopez, who chairs the Ease of Doing Business and Anti Red Tape Advisory Council (EODB/ARTAC), called RA 11032 a landmark legislation that will have a direct impact on all citizens and the business sector.
“We realized that for the EODB reforms to be fully implemented and integrated, a whole-of-government approach was necessary. Thus in full support of the President’s vision, Congress enacted a law that will make doing business in the Philippines easier and more importantly, create a more efficient government.” Lopez added.
The EODB-EGSDA law will be implemented by the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), an agency under the Office of the President that will monitor compliance of agencies, and implement and oversee a national policy on anti-red tape and ease of doing business. The seven-member EODB/ARTAC will be composed of the secretaries of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Information and Communications Technology, and Department of Finance, and two members from the private sector.
The EODB/ARTAC will serve as the policy and advisory body of ARTA, which will have the DTI secretary as chair and the director general of ARTA as vice chair.