"Within the next three years and before the term of President (Rodrigo) Duterte ends, we hope to fully implement the law and improve our ranking from a dismal 124 out of the 190 economies to top 20 percent," ARTA officer-in-charge, Director General Ernesto V. Perez, said in a press briefing in Malacañang on Wednesday.
Last year, Duterte signed Republic Act (RA) 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery, which aims to address the failure of the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 to solve the perennial problem of bureaucratic red tape in government institutions.
Under the law, government agencies are required to process simple transactions within three days, complete transactions in seven days, and highly technical transactions in 20 days.
The law also limits to a maximum of three the number of signatories for applications for licenses, clearances, permits, certifications, and authorizations while electronic signatures will also be recognized and a zero-contact policy will be implemented to avoid improprieties.
“The full implementation of the Ease of Doing Business (law) will attract more economic activities, foster an enabling business environment, generate more jobs and ensure an inclusive growth for our country,” Perez said.
“We look forward to shaping the Philippines as a competitive landscape where businesses, foreign and local alike, from small and medium enterprises to large businesses can thrive with the help of a government they could trust,” he added.
Perez said his office has already prepared a draft of the law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR) to be approved by a permanent ARTA director general.
He said ARTA has already started implementing the law even without the IRR, resolving 52.63 percent of the 166 complaints of red tape it received from various business groups and individuals.
“We’re not relying on the implementing rules and regulations. We are continuing with our two-pronged approach to the implementation of the law," Perez said, referring to receiving and acting on complaints and training of related government agencies.
Perez said ARTA is working hard for the Philippines to catch up and be at par with the performance of its Asian neighbors.
“As you know, in the 2019 survey, we are 124th out of 190 economies in terms of the World Bank survey in terms of doing business. Malaysia is No. 15, Singapore No. 2, Vietnam is ahead of us, even Thailand and Indonesia,” he said.
He said even prior to RA 11032 implementation, significant gains have already been made by the Duterte administration in terms of improving the ease of doing business in the country.