Sen. Juan Miguel F. Zubiri, being the sponsor of the Ease of Doing Business Law, urged President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to appoint an Anti-Red Tape Authority czar whose main task is to prioritize the business and livelihood of Filipinos.
“Its title has business in it, but, we want ordinary Filipinos, not just a big business, to get the full benefits of the law. The essence of the law is to raise the bar for all government agencies. We’re not asking for lightning speed, but we deserve better than business-as-usual. It’s almost four months since the passage of the law, yet, no one is wielding the whip. We needed an Anti-Red Tape czar, yesterday,” said Zubiri.
He also added, “the Anti-red Tape Czar and the Anti-red Tape Authority would be the one we would go to for all our complaints on red tape and “pangongotong” by government agencies both local and national.”
Zubiri addressed that the czar is mandated to immediately investigate these accusations of violation of this Law and to file the necessary cases with the Ombudsman and the Civil Service Commission on the violators of the Anti-red tape law.
“We crafted the EODB law and amended the 11-year-old ARTA for everyone, hoping that the small entrepreneurs generating more than 80% of business activities and employing millions will benefit. If the business moves fast because of the EODB law, we can drive our anti-poverty agenda faster. As of now, despite our high-quality produce, hardworking labor and innovation masters, we continue to be laggards as no one cracks the whip on foot-dragging agencies. We need a man at the helm,” he said.
The senator also explained that in order to eliminate bureaucratic bottlenecks and red tape that hamper transactions between businesses and the government, the EODB Act shall foster a “culture of trust among government agencies and businessmen–to give the businessmen applying for permits, licenses, and certifications the presumption of regularity for their businesses.
Under the law, prescribed processing times for transactions were set as follows: three to five working days for simple transactions, and seven to ten working days for complex ones, with a ceiling of twenty working days for highly technical applications.
“We also provided the appointment of a Director-General for the Authority, as czar, to oversee its implementation. The ARTA czar is to be appointed by the President, co-terminus with his tenure,” he noted.
Zubiri said he received reports from small entrepreneurs writing him and through Industry Chambers of the continuing delays and obstacles to engaging in business.