THE Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) said “green lanes” to ease the permit process for strategic investments will play a key role in attracting foreign investment.

ARTA Director-General Ernesto V. Perez said Executive Order (EO) No. 18, which set up the green lanes will help the Philippines enhance its standing as a destination for investment in Southeast Asia.

“We are ready to take on the job of promoting foreign direct investment (FDI) and streamlining the government approval and registration processes for strategic investments,” Mr. Perez said in a statement on Monday.  

“We believe that this EO will help us attract more FDI and create jobs for our countrymen,” he added.

EO 18, signed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. in February, was officially launched last week. The EO designates ARTA as a member of the technical working group that will act on complaints regarding violations of Republic Act No. 9485, also known as the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007, as amended.

The government defined strategic investments as investment pledges received by Mr. Marcos during his travel, as well as those recommended by the Fiscal Incentives Review Board to the Office of the President, foreign direct investment projects endorsed by the Inter-agency Investment Promotion Coordination Committee, and priority projects or activities listed in the Strategic Investment Priority Plan.   

Separately, ARTA said that its so-called 3-7-20 timeline applies to the green lanes. This timeline refers to the time to reply to simple transactions (three working days), complex transactions (seven working days), and highly technical transactions (20 working days).

The EO also requires the Department of Trade and Industry  and the Board of Investments to establish a one-stop action center, which will serve as the single entry point for all strategic investments.  

The EO applies to all National Government agencies, government-owned and -controlled corporations, other government instrumentalities, and local government units involved in the issuance of permits, licenses, and certifications or authorizations for strategic investments.

 ARTA, created under Republic Act No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act, is tasked with streamlining and digitalizing all government processes. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave