By Arjay L. Balinbin, Reporter
PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte is set to sign into law Monday, May 28, the proposed measure titled “Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.”
In a letter dated May 22, Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) Head Adelino B. Sitoy communicated to House of Representatives Majority Leader Rodolfo C. Fariñas of the House of Representatives to invite their leaders and members to the President’s enactment of the said measure at a ceremony in Malacañang on May 28. Mr. Fariñas’s office received the letter last Wednesday, May 23.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said this law “is one of the interventions of the government on how to make doing business in the Philippines easier.”
The measure was passed in the bicameral conference committee on Feb. 14. A week later, the Senate ratified and adopted the bicameral report on the disagreeing provisions of Senate Bill No. 1311 and House Bill No. 6579.
In his sponsorship speech, Senator Juan Miguel F. Zubiri, who heads the Senate committee on trade, commerce and entrepreneurship, said: “After thorough discussions, the conferees of both Houses of Congress agreed to use the Senate version as the working draft to amend and expand Republic Act No. 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007.”
“The bill will cover all local government units (LGUs), national government agencies (NGAs) and other government instrumentalities that provide service covering business and non-business related transactions,” Mr. Zubiri also said.
He likewise reported that the prescribed processing time for transactions in government will be further reduced. “Simple transactions will take from five (5) to three (3) working days, complex transactions from ten (10) to seven (7) working days, and highly technical applications to twenty (20) working days.”
The reconciled bill also provides for “automatic approval of permits and licenses in case the LGU/NGA fails to approve/disapprove the application within the prescribed processing time.”
The bill also includes provisions that streamline procedures for the issuance of local business permits and for securing Fire Safety Inspection Certificate (FSIC), Fire Safety Evaluation Clearance (FSEC), and certification of fire incidents.
In a press statement, Trade Undersecretary Rowel S. Barba said that aside from the bill’s enactment into law, the government is also working on the following that will further promote ease of doing business: the amendments to the Corporation Code, which will affect two indicators — Starting a Business and Protection Minority Investors; the Secured Transactions Bill, which will strengthen the legal rights index under the criterion on Getting Credit; and the implementation of the Unified Employee Enrolment Portal, which is an online one-time reporting system to be established by the Social Security System, the Home Development Mutual Fund, and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation for employees of newly registered businesses.
“This will reduce the procedures and processing time for enrolment of new employees in the criterion on Starting a Business; and the implementation of the Transfer Assistance Program by the Quezon City government that will streamline the procedures for securing the tax declaration, tax clearance, and for paying the transfer tax — all of which will reduce the processing time for registering property,” Mr. Barba said in the statement.