THE Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and Land Registration Authority (LRA) have been identified as among the most red tape-ridden agencies in the first 100 days of ease of doing business (EoDB) law implementation, a government watchdog said.

Nakita talaga natin (We saw that) they really need to shape up. There’s really red tape inside these agencies,” Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) Director General Jeremiah B. Belgica said in a briefing in Malacañan Palace on Wednesday.

Mr. Belgica was reporting on ARTA’s first 100 days of implementing Republic Act No. 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018. The law was enacted in May 2018, but its implementing rules and regulations were signed only last July 17.

Mr. Belgica said the LRA 10 years ago entered into a contract for the establishment of a modernized land titling system, which has not been completed until now. “Ten years ago meron nang kontrata para i-automate ang register of deeds at ang kanilang mga processing pero hanggang ngayon, hindi pa natatapos ang e-titling,” he said. He said with an automated system in place, land titling could be processed within “less than one day.”

On its Web site, the LRA reported it has been implementing the “Voluntary Title Standardization Program” by which title owners upgrade their paper titles to “e-Titles” as part of a computerization drive.

As for the FDA, Mr. Belgica said the agency is set to make a presentation within the week to update ARTA on the results of its strategic planning.

Sought for comment, FDA Officer-In-Charge Rolando Enrique D. Domingo said in a mobile phone message: “We are addressing these concerns and streamlining the FDA processes to get rid of the backlogs from previous years without compromising the safety and quality of food and medical products in the market.”

The LTFRB, meanwhile, sought assistance from ARTA for capacity-building and has pledged to allocate a “considerable” amount to improve front-line operations.

“The LTFRB did invite ARTA to further explain not only the mandate of RA 11032, pati ‘yung tinatawag na regulatory impact assessment training and they’re now asking for ARTA’s assistance to capacitate ang kanilang ahensya para mapabilis,” he said.

“According to them, they would be setting aside a considerable amount all for the ease of doing business matter.”

LTFRB Chairman Martin B. Delgra III and the office of LRA Administrator Renato D. Bermejo did not respond to requests for comment.

The ARTA chief said his agency is reviewing performance of other government offices in this regard.

He said ARTA focused on FDA, LTFRB and LRA based on “complaints and also motu proprio investigation as well as confidential information.” — Charmaine A. Tadalan