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Facing Red Tape

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The latest data from the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) indicates that only 221 out of 1,634 cities and municipalities all over the country have fully automated business one-stop shops.

That makes only a little more than 10 percent of the country’s local governments units to have been found fully compliant with regulations on establishing business one-stop shops.

In the meantime, 281 have partially automated ones, while 728 have submitted letters of explanation why they have not yet complied.

Ernesto Perez, director general of ARTA, highlighted the importance of local governments in making sure that the processes in securing business permits and other requirements go smoothly and are completed in a timely manner.

“This is the only way to really attract investors into the country. They are always saying it’s hard to do business in the Philippines,” Perez noted, adding that the concept has been proven based on their experiences in the past in the cities of Mandaue, Quezon and Cebu.

“It is guaranteed that they will increase the number of business registrations, they will increase their revenue collections,” Perez said.

ARTA had signed joint Memorandum Circular No. 01 of 2021, or the Guidelines for Processing Business Permits, Related Clearances and Licenses in All Cities and Municipalities, along with other government offices.

Every year, as businesses across the country renew their permits and seek clearances, we get to see how our government has improved when it comes to cutting red tape. Towns and cities with business one-stop shops, of which the businesspeople of Negros Occidental seem to be fortunate to have plenty, gives Filipinos an idea of how it is possible to reduce the infamous red tape problem that has allowed fixers to become a cottage industry.

Government should be continuously finding ways to make life easier for its people and the reduction of red tape should be an effort that has to be pursued, not only by ARTA, but as much as possible, throughout the entire system.*

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