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Bringing Change to Batangas: Anti-Red Tape Authority opens new Field Office

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By MARY JANE LEVITA & LUCKY ANDRE BERMUDEZ

BATANGAS City – IN order to make change in government closer to the people, a new Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) office was established at the compound of the National Food Authority (NFA) , this city May 16, 2023.

The inauguring program was held at the NFA main lobby with different ARTA officials, administrations, media outlets, and other staff in attendance who also gave a warm welcome to the newly opened office.

ARTA Director General Secretary Ernesto V. Perez led the ceremony with other invited speakers who gave an inspiring message and expressed their support for the said event.

In her short message, Mayor Beverly Rose A. Dimacuha of Batangas City expressed her support and she mentioned a little information about the importance of law enforcement.

“We balance the values in public service; that we place it in the high part. We also value environmental protection, law enforcement, compliance…” she said.

She also mentioned that Batangas City belongs to the Top 10 Competitive Cities. Nevertheless, Batangas City has many incoming investments.

The Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA) Law

According to the Department of Labor and Employment, Anti-Red Tape Act is an act to improve efficiency in the delivery of government service to the public by reducing bureaucratic red tape, preventing graft and corruption, and providing penalties therefor.

During the opening of the ARTA office, the officials mentioned and gave information about the ARTA law. One of the ARTA officials, Undersecretary Rabindranath P. Quilala, shared and emphasized the meaning of ARTA.

“Si (sic) ARTA na walang gagawin kun’di agarang responde at tamang aksyon…That’s what we want to bring to the Filipino nation… a brand-new leadership with bureaucratic efficiency…” he said.

In addition, he expressed his gratitude to the people who came to the event to support the newly opened ARTA office.

Most of the speakers at the event focused on the ARTA’s progress toward greater bureaucratic efficiency. Despite this, government officials seek to provide advantages to Filipino citizens while objectively assessing their needs and concerns. Nonetheless, they provided another branch of the ARTA office to further asses those problems by improving the government’s services.

On the other hand, Director General Secretary Ernesto V. Perez shared his gratitude and information about the ARTA law.

“ARTA being the agency under the office of the President, tasks to implement the national policy on issues doing business….and he [the President] is taking the lead making a difference in the way services are being offered to the public that’s why today is very significant for us because we have chosen Batangas to be the center of our services…” he said.

He also emphasized that the eight-point socio-economic agenda focuses on improving bureaucratic efficiency and a better way to enhance digitalized government processes. Hence, ARTA law has a lot of factors that can assess and help the Filipino nation.

Streamlining Government Processes and Enhancing Service Delivery

The purpose of ARTA is manifold. Its mandate includes monitoring and evaluating the performance of government agencies in terms of service delivery. By holding agencies accountable for their actions and that service standards are followed. Nonetheless, ARTA ensures compliance with prescribed processing times for various transactions following the 3-5-20 rule, which refers to simple transactions (3 days), complex transactions (7 days), and highly technical transactions (20 days).

Director General Sec. Ernesto Perez said that people availing government services should not be required to return once again to submit additional documents if the application meets all requirements, citing under the law that whoever comes to government offices ready to apply should be welcomed, entertained, and served.

Moreover, lengthy bureaucratic procedures and discretionary powers provide opportunities for corruption to thrive. ARTA’s emphasis on simplifying processes and implementing technology-driven solutions reduces the potential for corruption. Through its various initiatives, ARTA empowers citizens to engage actively with government agencies and demand efficient and transparent services. It provides opportunities for public feedback, complaints, and suggestions, which may result in better service delivery.

Following a recent directive given by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for all government processes to be following a centralized online system, ARTA has established the Electronic-Business One Stop Shop (e-BOSS): a user-friendly interface where users can input their business information, upload necessary documents, and make online payments for fees and taxes. It also offers real-time updates on the status of applications and notifications regarding any additional requirements or steps needed to complete the registration process.

The e-BOSS simplifies the registration process and ensures transparency and accountability. In addition, it reduces the potential for corruption and irregularities by digitizing the process and minimizing direct contact with government personnel.

While there are only 8 LGUs found to be compliant with the e-BOSS mandate based on validation conducted by the Compliance Monitoring and Evaluation Office (CMEO), seven of which are coming from the National Capital Region, Sec. Ernesto Perez expressed his hope that the province of Batangas will soon join the ranks.

“We don’t stop here, continue ang laban,” said the secretary during a panel interview.|-BNN

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