Press Release
February 21, 2018

21 FEBRUARY 2018

Mr. President, on behalf of the Senate Panel to the Bicameral Conference Committee on the disagreeing provisions of Senate Bill No. 1311 and House Bill No. 6579, the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, I have the honor to report to the body the Bicameral Report on the reconciled bill. Instead of reading the Joint Explanatory Statement of this Bicameral Report consisting of twenty-one (21) pages, may I be allowed to present the highlights of the reconciled bill and the Joint Explanation be inserted and considered read into the record.

Mr. President, after several bicameral meetings, your Bicameral Conference Committee has come up with a reconciled version that we believe will respond to the clamor of the public, especially the business sector, to improve ease of doing business and reduce red tape in the country.

1. After thorough discussion, the conferees of both Houses of Congress agreed to use the Senate version as the working draft to amend and expand Republic Act No. 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007.

2. The bill will cover all local government units (LGUs), national government agencies (NGAs) and other government instrumentalities that provide service covering business and non-business related transactions.

3. The prescribed processing time for transactions in government will be further reduced:

a. simple transactions from five (5) to three (3) working days;

b. complex transactions from ten (10) to seven (7) working days; and

c. highly technical applications to twenty (20) working days.

4. The reconciled bill provides for automatic approval of permits and licenses in case the LGU/NGA fails to approve/disapprove the application within the prescribed processing time.

5. A new Section is added to streamline procedures for the issuance of local business permits to include the following provisions:

a. Use of single or unified business application for local tax and clearances, building clearances, fire safety inspection certificates, etc.; which shall also be available online;

b. Creation of one-stop business facilitation service (also referred to as business one-stop shop) on site and/or on-line in all cities and municipalities;

c. Automation of business permitting and licensing systems of LGUs with the help of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT);

d. Renewal of business permit within first month of the year or anniversary date of the issuance of permit; and

e. Payment of barangay clearance to be collected by the city/municipality and remitted to the respective barangays.

6. A new section to streamline theprocedures for securing Fire Safety Inspection Certificate (FSIC), Fire Safety Evaluation Clearance (FSEC), and certification of fire incidents is also included to:

a. Limit processing time for the issuance of FSIC and FSEC to seven (7) working days and twenty (20) working days for certification of fire incident for fire insurance purposes; and

b. Prohibit the Bureau of Fire (BFP) personnel from selling or recommending any brand of fire extinguishers or equipment, among others.

7. The DICT is mandated to create the:

a. Central Business Portal which shall serve as the central system to receive application and capture application data involving business-related transactions; and

b. Philippine Business Databank which shall contain all data and information of registered business entities.

8. Within three (3) years after the effectivity of this Act, the DICT is also mandated to ensure the automation of all business-related transactions in all LGUs and NGAs, and has to ensure that all municipalities and provinces classified from 3rd to 6thclasses are provided with appropriate equipment and connectivity.

9. Upon the recommendation of the Minority Floor Leader, Senator Drilon, we also included a Section on Interconnectivity Infrastructure Development which expedites the processing and approval of permits, licenses, clearances or authorizations for the installation and operation of telecommunication, broadcast towers, facilities, equipment and service to be able to ensure a fast and reliable interconnectivity infrastructure.

10. The Civil Service Commission (CSC) shall be strengthened by institutionalizing the anti-red tape unit in its central and regional offices.

11. On the agency tasked to implement this Act, we adopted the House version which creates an agency under the Office of the President to be named as the Anti-Red Tape Authority. The Authority shall:

a. Plan, implement and oversee national policy on anti-red tape and ease of doing business;

b. Initiate investigation, motu propio or upon receipt of a complaint, referthe same to the appropriate agency, or file cases for violations of this Act; and

c. Recommend policies, processes and systems to improve regulatory management of all LGUs and NGAs, among others.

The Authority shall be headed by a Director General (DG) with the rank of a Secretary, to be appointed and co-terminus with the tenure of the President. He/She shall be assisted by three (3) Deputy Director Generals (DDG).

12. The existing National Competitiveness Council is reorganized and renamed as the Ease of Doing Business and Anti-Red Tape Advisory Council to be composed of the:

a. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretaryas Chairperson;

b. Anti-Red Tape Authority Director-General as Vice-Chairperson;

c. DICT Secretary;

d. Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary;

e. Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary; and

f. Two (2) Representatives from the private sector, as members.

13. All offices and agencies providing government services shall be subjected to a Report Card Survey initiated by the Authority, in coordination with the CSC and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), which shall become the basis for the grant of awards, recognition, and/or incentives for excellent delivery of service in all government agencies.

14. Stiffer penalties shall be imposed for non-compliance and violations of this Act.

a. First Offense - administrative liability with six (6) months suspension without pay

b. Second Offense - administrative liability and criminal liability of dismissal and perpetual disqualification from the public service, and forfeiture of retirement benefits, and one (1) year to six (6) years imprisonment, with a fine of Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) to Two million pesos (P2,000,000.00).

15. The Act creates an oversight committee which shall cease to exist after five (5) years from the effectivity of the Act.

16. On a final note, an initial amount of Three hundred million pesos (P300,000,000.00) which shall be charged against the unexpended Contingency Fund of the Office of the President is appropriated for the Authority.

With that, Mr. President, I move for the adoption of the Bicameral Conference Report on the Disagreeing Provisions of Senate Bill No. 1311 and House Bill No. 6579.

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