TO improve the global business competitiveness of the country, the Anti-Red Tape Authority (Arta) urged businesses and individuals to report any violations of Republic Act (RA) 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Delivery of Government Services Law.
As of Aug. 27, 2019, the Arta received a total of 595 new complaints and, of these complaints, 83.36 percent or 496 have been encoded in the complaints database.
Ernesto Perez, deputy director general of the Arta, assured the public that their identities will be made confidential and that fast response on their side will be expected.
“There are so many complaints that we have been receiving everyday. Regardless of wherever it comes from, whatever province it is, we always act on any complaint within 24 hours from the receipt of the complaint. If it is a question of delay, violation of the ease of doing business law, we endorse it to the agency concerned and ask them to comment and then if there’s really strong evidence, we send a notice to explain also within 24 hours,” he told SunStar Cebu.
If the explanation is not clear and not acceptable, then Arta will conduct a formal investigation and file formal charges if warranted, he said.
Perez was in Cebu on Wednesday, Aug. 29, to brief the business community about Arta’s function during the general membership meeting of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Of the 496 recorded complaints, 67.60 percent or 336 were tagged Arta-related or those which were allegedly involved violations of RA 11032.
Of these Arta-related complaints, 50.8 percent were due to the alleged failure to render government services within the prescribed processing time; 6.8 percent were inquiries; 3.8 percent were due to the alleged imposition of additional requirements; 3.2 percent were due to the refusal of the government agencies to accept applications with complete requirements; 3.16 percent were allegations of fixing and collusion with fixers; 3.16 percent were due to failure to provide notice of approval/disapproval of their applications; and 3.16 percent were due to failure to attend to applicants during working hours.
Top five agencies
Arta said the government agency which has the most number of complaints is the Bureau of Internal Revenue with 101 complaints followed by the local government unit, 47; Social Security System, 24; Land Registration Authority, 22; and Home Development Mutual Fund, 19.
“People are more aware of their rights and if there’s a violation, they complain. We immediately send notices to explain to the heads of agencies, governors and mayors,” he said, adding that the Arta team can be easily accessed through social media.
Perez said the agency is poised to protect the people and businesses as well as foreign direct investors to keep the country’s economy growing.
“RA 11032 assures foreign direct investors that when they come in and invest in the Philippines their investments will be secured and duly protected. We assure them that we, at the Arta, are determined to implement the law to make it easy for people to deal with government, to improve our infrastructure, to streamline procedures which are really one of the basic tools for good regulatory practices that will attract more foreign investors,” he said. “With more foreign investors, there will be better business environment and more income to the people,” Perez added.
Earlier, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez also urged the business community to voice out their complaints through Arta because it is one of the ways the government can improve the implementation of the Ease of Doing Business Law.