THE ANTI-RED TAPE AUTHORITY (ARTA) signed its first agreement with a local government unit (LGU), partnering with Pasig City for the creation of a specialized unit to address bureaucratic red tape.

ARTA Director-General Jeremiah B. Belgica inked the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Pasig City Mayor Victor “Vico” N. Sotto to establish the Anti-Red Tape Unit, ARTA said in a statement Thursday.

The unit would notify ARTA about the formulation, modification, and repeal of regulations. It would verify the accuracy of the city’s Citizen’s Charter and its compliance with the zero contact policy and prescribed processing time.

Citizen’s charters detail each government agency’s checklist of requirements and procedures for its applications and request processes. ARTA last year set a December deadline for agencies to submit their respective charters.

“With the signing of this Memorandum of Understanding, we’re confident that Pasig will become much better in removing red tape in the coming years… [And through] this partnership, we will be able to help each other make Pasig business-friendly and make our systems and processes more efficient sa tulong po ng bawat isang nasa kwartong ito (with the help of everyone in this room,” Mr. Sotto was quoted as saying in the statement.

The MoU details the support to strengthen the implementation of the Ease of Doing Business law in Pasig from the UPPAF (University of the Philippines Public Administration Research and Extension Services Foundation, Inc.) Regulatory Reform Support Program for National Development (RESPOND) Project and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Philippines.

The Ease of Doing Business law or RA 9485 was passed in 2018 to improve efficiency in government services.

The Philippines improved its ranking in the World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business report to 95th from 124th a year earlier, but was still seventh among the 10 Southeast Asian nations measured.

ARTA is also set to assist Pasig City in assessing their business one-stop shop and in activating its local board assessment appeals, which hears appeals on property assessments.

The authority also presented their programs on a regulatory reform team, one-stop shops for construction permits and property registration, and regulatory impact assessment training, among others. — J.P.Ibañez