AN initiative to harmonize red tape elimination efforts will undergo initial trials on industries like telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and food, the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) said in a statement.

It said the specific segments for trial implementation of the National Effort for Harmonization of Efficiency Measures of Inter-related Agencies (NEHEMIA) project are the “common towers and interconnectivity sector, housing sector, food and pharma sector, logistics sector, and energy sector.”

NEHEMIA seeks to coordinate the streamlining of all regulatory requirements across the various agencies with an interest in overseeing a given industry.

The program has been set a target of reducing time, cost, requirements procedures by more than half within a year.

In December, ARTA Director-General Jeremiah B. Belgica said that the sectors initially identified for the NEHEMIA project are deemed critical to achieving the administration’s 10-point socioeconomic agenda.

ARTA is currently in the process of implementing Administrative Order (AO) 23 issued by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Feb. 21. The order directs all agencies with front-facing dealings with the public to remove processes which are “burdensome” and to cite the legal basis for requiring submissions from applicants along every step of the transaction process.

Government entities subject to the rules of Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 need to submit compliance reports to ARTA within the next 60 days. ARTA will determine whether the agencies have complied with the law and orders to eliminate overregulation.

ARTA warned agencies to comply with the AO and raised the threat of sanctions, putting teeth into the red-tape reduction effort. — Gillian M. Cortez