PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has appointed Jeremiah B. Belgica as director general of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), Malacañang said on Friday.

The anti-red tape czar, who is the only official who can issue the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Ease of Doing Business Law, was officially appointed on Wednesday, more than a year after Mr. Duterte signed the law in May 2018.

According to a list of Presidential appointees the Palace released to reporters on Friday, Mr. Duterte also appointed five new officials of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and Greg L. Pineda to be Assistant Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

Mr. Belgica is joining his brother, Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Commissioner and Spokesperson Greco B. Belgica, and his father, Presidential Adviser for Religious Affairs Grepor “Butch” Belgica, in the Duterte administration.

In a phone message to BusinessWorld, the PACC spokesperson said of his brother: “Yes… Atty. Jeremiah Belgica is my youngest brother. He has been practicing law for 10 years and is the senior partner of his law office.”

A day after DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II and Undersecretary Eliseo M. Rio, Jr. assumed office, Mr. Duterte appointed Jose Carlos P. Reyes as Director IV, Jose Arturo C. De Castro as Undersecretary, Emmanuel Rey D.R. Caintic as Assistant Secretary, Vicente L. Cejoco as Assistant Secretary, and Eleazar H. Almabis as Undersecretary.

Mr. Honasan said that during the Cabinet meeting last Monday, Mr. Duterte had given him authority to make changes in the composition of his department.

Other newly-appointed officials included in Malacañang’s list are Governor Angelica M. Cayas of the Board of Investments, Director IV Mita Chuchi G. Lim of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Director IV Ricardo M. Oñate, Jr. of the Department of Agriculture, Undersecretary Arnulfo R. Pajarillo and Assistant Secretary David B. Diciano of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, and Directors III Arecio A. Casing, Jr. and Cynthia A. Villena of NEDA. — Arjay L. Balinbin