The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) has expedited the release of 35,146 permits pending with various government agencies and acted on 1,178 complaints against government personnel for violating anti-red tape rules.

According to the ARTA report, the released permits include 8,510 permits, license, clearance and certifications which were automatically approved or released by numerous government agencies from the period July 2019 to June 2021.

ARTA Director General Jeremiah Belgica said this is in line with the ARTA’s commitment to fight corruption in government through streamlining and the eradication of red tape.

ARTA Director General Jeremiah B. Belgica

This is also in line with ARTA’s belief that more efficient services can be achieved through collaboration and innovation.

To facilitate the release of long-pending filed applications for permits, ARTA also launched its flagship National Effort for Harmonization of Efficient Measures of Inter-related Agencies (NEHEMIA) Program that aims to reduce the processes, requirements, and processing time by 52 percent for five priority sectors.

Among the five priority sectors is the telecommunications sector. In July 2020, the ARTA, along with key agencies, signed a Joint Memorandum Circular to streamline the permitting process for telecommunications towers.

This has led to the release of 26,636 pending permits in the telecommunications sector, as of June 2021. Of this number, 3,090 are from DITO Telco; 21,689 are from PLDT/Smart; and 1,857 are from Globe.

The ARTA has also acted upon at least 1,178 complaints on violations of the Republic Act No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 from December 2019 to June 2021.

Of this number, 235 complaints are undergoing investigation, 537 have been resolved, and the rest are being reviewed. The agency has also forwarded 5,630 non-anti-red tape-related complaints to appropriate agencies.

The Authority has also filed at least 528 cases and counts against R.A. No. 11032 offenders, as of June 2021. This number includes eight that were filed before the Civil Service Commission (CSC), 511 before the Office of the Ombudsman, three before the Office of the President, and six before the courts and prosecutor’s office.

Belgica also vowed to intensify the agency’s anti-fixer operations, especially along East Avenue in Quezon City, where several government agencies are located and where fixers have proliferated.

From May to June 2021, a total of 11 fixers fell in six entrapment operations launched by ARTA, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), and other concerned agencies.

Source: Manila Bulletin (