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Anti-red tape bill gets quick okay

Rodrigo Duterte

THE House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a measure that grants President Rodrigo Duterte the authority to expedite the issuance of government permits and licenses amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Filed by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, Majority Leader Martin Romualdez and other administration solons , House Bill 7884 was certified as urgent by President Duterte which led to its speedy approval.

The main purpose of House Bill 7884 or An Act Authorizing President to Expoedite the Processing and Issuance of National and Local Permits, Licenses and Certification in Times of National Emergency is to cut red tape.

Section 2 of the measure provides the President the authority to suspend the requirements for national and local permits, licenses and certification, as well as to streamline and expedite the process of issuance.

The bill covers all agencies of the Executive branch, including departments, bureaus, offices, commissions, boards, councils; government instrumentalities, government owned and controlled corporations.

“One of the strategic measures is to reduce transaction costs in all government agencies and provide an efficient delivery of its services while maintaining integrity and accountability in government service and the promotion of transparency in the transactions of the government with the public, encompassing a program for the adoption of simplified requirements and procedures,” the authors added.

The bill seeks to authorize the President of the Philippines to expedite the processing and issuance of national and local permits, licenses and certifications in times of national emergency.

The President, under the measure, shall have the authority to accelerate and streamline regulatory processes and procedures for new and pending applications and renewals of permits, licenses, clearances, certifications or authorizations. The proposed law also empowers the President to fix or shorten the periods for the processing and release of these documents.

The bill also grants the President the power to suspend or waive the requirements in securing such permits, licenses, clearances, certifications or authorizations. In consultation with or upon the recommendation of the affected government agencies, HB 7884 may prescribe the permanent streamlining of regulatory processes and procedures, and the suspension or waiver of the requirements in securing the documents.

Other authors of the bill are Reps. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez (Tingog party-list), Weslie Gatchalian (Valenzuela City), Juan Miguel “Mikey” Macapagal Arroyo (Pampanga), Michael John R. Duavit (Rizal); Wilfrido Mark M. Enverga (Quezon), Xavier Jesus D. Romualdo (Camiguin), Sharon S. Garin (AAMBIS-OWA party-list); Jose “Bonito” C. Singson Jr. (Probinsyano Ako party-list), Doy C. Leachon (Oriental Mindoro), Michael “Mikee” L. Romero (1-PACMAN); Arnolfo “Arnie” A. Teves Jr. (Negros Oriental), Francisco “Kiko” B. Benitez (Negros Occidental), Munir M. Arbison (Sulu), Michael Edgar Y. Aglipay (DIWA party-list), Joseph Stephen “Caraps” S. Paduano (Abang Lingkod), and John Reynald M. Tiangco (Navotas).