The head of the Senate budget-writing committee wants government agencies to detail their “anti-red tape performance and targets” in their 2020 budget proposals.

Senator Sonny Angara said the different government agencies will be asked what they have done to implement “ease of doing business (EODB)” mandates when they face the Senate Committee on Finance during the hearings on the proposed 2020 national budget.

“Anti-red tape performance will now be part of the budget review. These will also be part of the key performance indicators that an agency promises to meet in exchange for the appropriations it will get,” said Angara, the chairman of the Finance Committee.

“I will demand a before and after timetable of the processing of a document, from request to release.”

For certain agencies, the veteran legislator said he will demand a “before and after” timetable of the processing of a document, from request to release.

“Kung, say, two days today, next year ba kayang one day na lang? Yung ganung pag-measure ng improvement ang kailangan natin. Para sa susunod na taon, pwede natin malaman kung natupad ba nila ang kanilang promissory note,” the seasoned lawmaker said.

“When you reduce the number of documents, the speed by which an application moves increases.”

The senator reminded agencies that anti-red tape does not only require the “shortening of the processing time but includes cutting the number of documentary requirements.”

“When you reduce the number of documents, the speed by which an application moves increases. Hindi lang bawas oras, bawas gastos na rin,” he said.

In his fourth State of the Nation Address, President Rodrigo Duterte noted how businessmen were having a hard time in securing their permits, causing delays in the start of their operations. He said clearances and permits should be released within three days.

In the World Bank’s 2019 ease of doing business report, the Philippines’ rank slipped 11 notches from 113 in 2018 to 124 in 2019.

However the Department of Finance and the Department of Trade and Industry disputed the report, saying that government “has been hard at work in implementing initiatives to increase the country’s competitiveness.”

Angara is one of the authors of Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business Act, which was enacted in May last year, but the implementing rules and regulations only came out recently.

The EODB Act puts in place the “3-7-20” rule, which requires government offices to complete simple transactions within three days, complex ones within seven days, and highly technical ones within 20 days.

He is also the co-author of Republic Act 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act, which instituted the no-noon break policy, no fixing activities, easy-to-read IDs or nameplates, presence of public assistance and complaints desks, and the implementation of the agency’s Citizen’s Charter which contains the types of frontline services offered with the step-by-step procedure, the person responsible for each step, time needed to transact, documents required, and fees.


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