DOF ANTI-RED TAPE TO DEVELOP NAT’L DATABASE

Inter-agency body to simplify trade processing system

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The Department of Finance (DOF) anti-red tape team and trade regulatory agencies are harmonizing their systems to develop a national database that can simplify the processes of securing documentary requirements for imports and exports.

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In a statement on Friday, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said the trade regulatory agencies involved are coordinated under the National Competitiveness Council, which is co-chaired by Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez for the public sector and business leader Guillermo Luz for the private sector.

The trade regulators and the DOF anti-red tape team, headed by Undersecretary Gil Beltran, will implement the Inter-Agency Business Process Interoperability Program to “simplify the import/export documentary requirements by streamlining their processes and converging systems,” Dominguez said.

“This will go a long way toward facilitating increased regional trade links and the entry or expansion of businesses,” he said.

The DOF is also working with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to develop the automated business and citizen registry systems as the primary tools in cutting red tape and reducing the processing time of government frontline services.

Earlier, the DOF and the DICT started identifying the data from various government agencies for the automated registries.

Dominguez envisions a system comparable to the one used by e-commerce giant Amazon.com, which can process millions of purchases from clients with a single registration of pertinent data that can be validated and used for all transactions.

“Our IT people are working closely with revenue people to make things like that as simple as possible. If Amazon can do that—I don’t know how many millions of customers—I think we can certainly do something like that,” Dominguez said.

Data would be collected from the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Philippine Statistics Authority, Social Security System, Government Service Insurance System, Philippine Health Insurance Corp., Home Development Mutual Fund and every Office of the Treasurer of local government units.

The information given by applicants of permits and licenses and other official documents would then be linked and consolidated under the registries.

Beltran noted the registries will be a one-stop shop for individuals and companies tracking and validating records. The process eliminates the burden of proof of legitimacy.

The registries would help streamline frontline services by doing away with the repetitious process of filling up numerous forms and submitting to different agencies the same official papers, which, in the first place, are already in the government database, Beltran said.

A minimal fee would be charged for using the registries. Beltran said a nationwide information campaign would be done before the registries become fully operational to educate the users and government agencies.

The Business Registry and the Citizens’ Registry will be developed by the DICT as a lasting solution to the perennial problem of red tape in all government offices.

The Business Registry is a database of all operating businesses, non-government organizations and cooperatives, while the Citizens’ Registry would provide the government with a comprehensive record of all Filipinos registered in the system.

The DOF said this is part of efforts to ease doing business and facilitate the country’s integration into the
Southeast Asian region.

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