• DoF fast-tracks 17 infra projects

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    Gains vs red tape bared

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    THE Department of Finance said the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) led by DoF Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd, has fast-tracked the approval of 17 infrastructure projects over the past six months.

    “As of this writing the ICC has so far given the go-signal to 17 big-ticket projects in just the first six months of the Duterte presidency, more than what the previous administration had approved in its entire term,” the DOF said in a statement on Thursday.

    The DOF said the Duterte government had approved more infrastructure projects in six months than in the entire six-year term of the previous Aquino administration, as it bared gains in cutting red tape in the bureaucracy.

    The Finance department also reported that the Privatization Management Office raised P284 million in revenues as of November 2016, of which P96 million came from the proceeds of the sale and disposition of 13,000 square meters of land in Paranaque City (P55.9 million); seven parcels of land in Davao City and five lots in Tagum City (P28.8 million); and 2,360 square meters of land in San Miguel, Manila (P11.3 million).

    Privatization proceeds remitted to the National Treasury amounted to P261 million.

    German-funded program

    The DOF also said it had significantly reduced documentary requirements and proc edures in at least eight frontline services offered by the government to individuals and businesses.

    Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran said cutting red tape in the department and its attached agencies was initially done at the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp.

    The DOF obtained a P21.5-million grant from the German development bank KfW Group last year to implement an anti-red tape initiative that would simplify processes in submitting documentary requirements for imports and exports, and harmonize these systems to ease business processes and facilitate the country’s integration into the regional community of Southeast Asian economies.

    Another anti-red tape project, the KfW-funded Inter-Agency Business Process Interoperability Program, aims to streamline the process of issuing permits for imports and exports to three days from two weeks.

    The project will also raise revenues, facilitate regional trade links and the entry or expansion of businesses into the Philippines, Beltran said.

    Besides simplifying import-export documentation processes, the program’s targets include developing policies to “oversee, manage and harmonize transactions of all regulatory agencies” involved in these processes by establishing protocols to link their databases with each other, the DOF said.

    It also aims to enforce “transparent and accountable regulation processes and procedures [in]all relevant government agencies” and ensure that these would be sustained, it added.

    On top of these initiatives, the DOF said it had begun working with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to develop the government’s automated business and citizen registry systems that would serve as the primary tools in cutting red tape and reducing processing time.

    Beltran said the DOF and the DICT were in the process of identifying the data to be gathered from various government agencies for the automated business and citizen registries.

    Dominguez earlier said he wanted to put up a system comparable to online buying portal amazon.com, which can process millions of purchases from clients and requires only a one-time registration of pertinent data that can then be validated and used for all transactions.

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