ARTA made improvements in Philippines’ business permitting process

2023 May 4

The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) has succeeded in streamlining some of the permitting process to ensure ease of doing business in the Philippines, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said.

Marcos told US businesses on Wednesday that his administration is working hard to minimize red tape and digitalize the bureaucratic processes.

“They have done a very good job. They have reduced some of the permitting procedures from — for different industries from several months to just a few days,” President Marcos said in a fireside chat with American business executives at the Blair House in Washington.

“I really am confident that the authority, if it’s continued — if it can continue its work and if it is — it is well supported by legislation, by the bureaucratic procedures, we can cut down many of those unnecessary regulatory documentary requirements.”

US investors expressed enthusiasm over the lot of changes put into the Anti-Red Tape Law but wary over how it would really help accelerate foreign direct investment (FDI) and bring businesses into the Philippines.

The challenge, the President said, is how to compete with other countries and how to shorten the business permitting process, which sometimes takes 36 months to secure in the Philippines.

In other countries, documents are ready for signature after 24 hours, Marcos pointed out.

Another area that the administration is working on is digitalizing government processes and transactions.

“We always — that’s why digitalization has become such an important part of our effort because with digitalization, you remove as much of the discretion that we will have — that people have in actually processing these applications or these documents and hopefully the end result is that — we will be doing most of our business in government purely online, without speaking to a human being,” the President said.

Based on a study, 95 percent of today’s work is done online, Marcos said noting that although digitalizing the bureaucracy may be an intimidating task the government must carry it out.

Simple things like applying for a driver’s license and getting a copy of birth certificate could be done online, the President pointed out.