GERMAN development bank Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW)Group has provided the Department of Finance (DOF) a P21.5 million grant for its anti-red tape program.
In a statement on Monday, the DOF said the grant would be used to implement an anti-red tape initiative and simplify processes in securing documentary requirements for imports and exports, along with harmonizing these systems.
Harmonizing imports and exports systems is part of the Duterte administration’s efforts to ease doing business in the Philippines and facilitate its integration into the regional community of Southeast Asian economies.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said the grant from the Frankfurt-based KfW Group will help implement the Inter-Agency Business Process Interoperability (IABPI) Program, which aims to streamline the process of issuing permits for imports and exports to a maximum of three days from two weeks, in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to cut red tape plaguing government offices.
In a separate report to Dominguez, Finance Undersecretary and anti-red tape czar Gil Beltran said the project will not only improve the delivery of frontline government service but contribute to an increase in revenue, facilitate regional trade links and the entry or expansion of businesses in the Philippines.
The IABPI will be implemented by the DOF’s Policy Development and Management Services Group in coordination with the government’s trade regulatory agencies.
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 each other’s information.
“The major cause of red-tape in government is that agencies act and operate in isolation of each other,” Beltran said.
The program aims to enforce transparent and accountable regulation processes and procedures in all relevant government agencies and ensure that these would be sustained.
On top of the initiative, the DOF said it is working with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to develop the government’s automated business and citizen data bank portal that would serve as the primary tools in cutting red tape and reducing processing time for government frontline services providing a portal to verify business and citizen government records.
The DOF and DICT are now identifying the data to be gathered from various government agencies for automated business and citizen databank portal.
The first stakeholders’ meeting for the Business Databank was held on October 26, during which the pilot platform was presented.
Government agencies that form part of the Business Databank are the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Office of the City Treasurer of every local government units (LGUs).
The Citizen records will include data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Social Security System (SSS), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Philippine Health Corp. (PhilHealth), Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund), BIR and Office of the City Treasurer of local governments, Beltran added.
The portal will serve as a one-stop shop for government agencies and companies to easily track and validate their records (as permitted by Philippine law), removing from businesses and citizens the burden of proving legitimacy.
The DOF said a nationwide information campaign would be conducted before the registries become fully operational to educate users and government agencies involved on how to use the automated system.
A minimal fee would be charged for using the portal when it becomes available to the public.