MAJORITY Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez on Thursday vowed to immediately pass on third and final reading the bill granting anti-red tape powers to President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte as soon as the House of Representatives receives the letter of certification from Malacañang.
Upon the instruction of Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, Romualdez said the House of Representatives will act according to the desire of the President to streamline the issuance of licenses and permits during national emergencies
“Upon the directive of the President and the instruction of Speaker Velasco, the House of Representatives will work on the passage of the anti-red tape measure before we adjourn the special session,” said Romualdez, chairman of the powerful House Committee on Rules, adding that the measure is in support of President Duterte’s directives for efficient coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) response
On Wednesday evening, Velasco and Romualdez led the filing of House Bill (HB) 7884 or An Act Authorizing the President to Expedite the Processing and Issuance of National and Local Permits, Licenses, and Certifications to accelerate the country’s socioeconomic recovery and ensure an effective government response to the present health crisis.
“Under the leadership of Speaker Velasco, we are in full support of the marching orders from President Duterte for Congress to go all out in helping curb red tape and corruption in all levels of governance,” Romualdez said.
“We have to help the President in his campaign to put a stop to deep-rooted, systemic and systematic corruption in government,”
Romualdez said. “Tama ang ating Presidente na hindi dapat nahihirapan ang mga tao sa kanilang transaksiyon sa pamahalaan.”
Section 2 of the measure gives Duterte the authority to suspend the requirements for national and local permits, licenses and certifications, and 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,” said the authors led by Velasco and Romualdez.
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.
However, Section 2 of the proposed legislation shall not be used to “undermine the existing procedures and processes, under applicable laws, rules and regulations, meant to protect the environment, especially those that aim to safeguard protected areas and its buffer zones, and environmentally critical areas.”
Under Section 3 of the measure, the President has the power to suspend or remove, any government official or employee performing acts contrary to the measure consistent with Article VII Sections 1 and 17 of the Constitution, the
Revised Administrative Code, other existing laws, and jurisprudence.
Other authors of the bill are Reps. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez (Tingog party list), Weslie Gatchalian (Valenzuela City), Wilter “Sharky” Wee Palma II (Zamboanga Sibugay), Alfredo A. Garbin Jr. (Ako Bicol party-list), Juan Miguel “Mikey” Macapagal Arroyo (Pampanga), Michael John R. Duavit (Rizal), Jesus Crispin C. Remulla (Cavite), Wilfrido Mark M. Enverga (Quezon), Xavier Jesus D. Romualdo (Camiguin), Sharon S. Garin (AAMBIS-OWA party-list), Julienne “Jam” L. Baronda (Iloilo City), Kristine Singson-Meehan (Ilocos Sur), Bernadette “BH” Herrera (Bagong Henerasyon party-list), Jose “Bonito” C. Singson Jr. (Probinsyano Ako party-list), Doy C. Leachon (Oriental Mindoro), Michael “Mikee” L. Romero, Eric M. Martinez (Valenzuela City), 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).