ARTA widens reach with addition of Rotary International District 3810 in ARTA Champions roster

photo courtesy of ARTA

10 September 2021 – The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) has widened its reach across the country after the Rotary International District 3810 officially joined the agency’s roster of ARTA Champions on Friday.

Secretary Jeremiah Belgica, ARTA Director General, and Rotary International District 3810 Governor Robert Koa formalized their partnership through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The move comes a day after Belgica signed an MOU with Life Changing President Nikki Rose Esperanza of the Rotary Club of Ermita, Manila—which is under the Rotary Club District 3810—that also committed to serving as an ARTA Champion.

The Rotary International is an organization of businesses and professionals united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.

The Rotary International District 3810 covers Manila, Cavite, Pasay, and Occidental Mindoro with 111 clubs

“Your participation and assistance will also enable ARTA to reach out to more Filipinos, to more businessmen, to more professionals who are being victimized by red tape, while also continuing to innovate ways to provide efficient government services and improve the ease of doing business in the country,” Belgica said during the MOU signing.

“We have high hopes that we will usher into a new beginning of our country of eradicating the old, outdated way of doing business, releasing the Filipinos from the long-standing bureaucracy and red tape that it has suffered for so long,” he added.

Among the responsibilities of an ARTA Champion are receiving complaints in relation to Republic Act No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 from professionals and those in the business sector, and promoting and raising awareness on the Authority’s ease of doing business and anti-red tape initiatives.

In turn, ARTA will provide its partners with trainings, orientations, seminars and webinars, as well as relevant materials, to capacitate them in receiving complaints.

The MOU will be effective immediately.

The Anti-Red Tape Secretary again credited the Rotary for his learnings and experiences that he was able to use when he was appointed as the first ever director general of the Authority. Belgica served as president of the Rotary Club of Ermita, Manila in 2014 and 2015.

“It helped me prepare in many of the endeavors that I am now undertaking, in many of the challnges that I am now facing as a leader, and even with the transformative and life-changing initiatives that are being done by ARTA,” he said.

Koa thanked the Authority for “trusting” the Rotary International District 3810 with the “noble task” of being one of its reform partners.

“As district general of Rotary International District 3810, I can assure you that we are one with the Anti-Red Tape Authority’s vision of creating a Philippine government that is clean, just, highly effective, technology-enabled, and people-centered,” he said.

“I would like to believe that Rotarians are the right agent to fight red tape in our government institution. Yet, I would still like to hope that this partnership will nurture and cultivate more fair and just Rotarians who will forward the cause of the Anti-Red Tape Authority,” he added.

Belgica underscored the importance of fostering partnerships with government agencies and public and private stakeholders in the fight against red tape.

“We are quite aware that we will require a lot of partnerships and assistance in order to achieve the goal of e-governance and streamlining services in the government. We need alliances, friends to join this fight because we all know that the perennial problem of red tape affects us all, especially during this pandemic,” he said.

“We have always believed that the power of collaboration across, not only government agencies, but most especially from the public to the private sector, is a needed and necessary strategy in order for us to have a whole-of-nation win against red tape,” he added.

The first two organizations to join the Authority’s roster of ARTA Champions are the the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and Guild of Real Estate Entrepreneurs and Professionals (GREENPRO).

Meanwhile, the Confederation of Filipino Workers (CFW), Junior Chamber International (JCI), Out-of-Home Advertising Association of the Philippines (OHAAP), The Manila Times, and Flash Media committed to serve as ARTA Champions in a formal signing ceremony during ARTA’s month-long celebration of its third anniversary in June 2021.

The Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM), Chamber of Cosmetic Industry of the Philippines (CCIP), and Health and Dietary Supplement Association of the Philippines (HADSAP) have also expressed their intention to join the ARTA Champions.

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Rotary Club of Ermita, Manila officially signs on as ARTA Champion

09 September 2021 – The Rotary Club of Ermita, Manila officially joined the Anti-Red Tape Authority’s (ARTA) roster of ARTA Champions that will complement the agency’s efforts in monitoring and eradicating red tape in the government and private companies.

Secretary Jeremiah Belgica, ARTA Director General, and Rotary Club of Ermita, Manila Life Changing President Nikki Rose Esperanza signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to formalize their partnership on Thursday.

The Rotary Club is an organization of businesses and professionals united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.

The Authority’s partnership with the Rotary Club of Ermita, Manila is seen to open up opportunities to partner with more clubs across the country, widening ARTA’s reach.

As an ARTA Champion, the Rotary Club of Ermita, Manila will be authorized to receive complaints in relation to Republic Act No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 from the business sector and professionals, which will be endorsed to the agency.

It will also be given the responsibility to promote and raise awareness on ARTA’s ease of doing business and anti-red tape initiatives.

In return, the Authority will provide trainings, orientations, seminars and webinars, as well as relevant materials, to the Rotary Club of Ermita, Manila to capacitate them in receiving complaints.

The MOU will take effect immediately.

Belgica, who served as a president of the Rotary Club of Ermita, Manila in 2014 and 2015, credited the club for his learnings and experience that he used in serving as ARTA’s first director general.

“One of the great things that I could remember and pass on that helped me prepare in my journey as the first ever director general of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) are my experiences and trainings that I received as a Rotarian,” he said during the MOU signing.

“I was thrust and placed in a position that I really learned how to lead a club in a way that is unfamiliar to me, but that in itself is a great blessing because now that I’m leading, not just a club, but a transformative government agency, I would say that all of my learnings and all of my experiences really came, not just handy, but impacts my service today in our government,” he added.

Esperanza thanked the Authority for partnering with the Rotary Club of Ermita, Manila and vowed to support the agency in its mission to curb red tape in the country even during the pandemic.

“Being an ARTA Champion in this crucial time of pandemic, we must be stern advocates and stewards of providing help and assistance to our people in the most immediate and effective way,” she said.

“This pandemic should not be an excuse for us to be complacent and pessimistic in asserting our rights toward having transparency and efficient government, public, and private offices and agencies. Instead, let us unite and uplift everyone’s spirit, well-being, and condition,” she added.

“I am confident that, despite the concerns relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, our partnership will remain strong, relevant, and helpful in promoting good and effective governance in the coming years,” Esperanza said, addressing ARTA.

The ARTA chief said that he remains hopeful that the agency will be able to continuously carry out its mandate because of its partners both in the government and private sectors.

“We are very hopeful because of the collaborations and the support that is coming from different private institutions that has committed to become ARTA Champions,” he said.

“Tunay nga pong laban sa red tape ay hindi ho tapos, tayo ay nagsisimula pa lamang. But we have unshakeable hope that with our partners, we are getting closer to our goal,” he added.

Some of the first organizations to join the Authority’s roster of ARTA Champions are the the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and Guild of Real Estate Entrepreneurs and Professionals (GREENPRO).

During ARTA’s month-long celebration of it’s third anniversary in June 2021, the Confederation of Filipino Workers (CFW), Junior Chamber International (JCI), Out-of-Home Advertising Association of the Philippines (OHAAP), The Manila Times, and Flash Media committed to serve as ARTA Champions in a formal signing ceremony.

The Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM), Rotary International District 3810, Chamber of Cosmetic Industry of the Philippines (CCIP), and Health and Dietary Supplement Association of the Philippines (HADSAP) have also expressed their intention to join the ARTA Champions.

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Statement of ARTA Secretary Jeremiah B. Belgica on the Passage on Second Reading of HB 8942 or the proposed Ease of Paying Taxes Act

08 September 2021 – House Bill (HB) no. 8942 or the proposed Ease of Paying Taxes Law seeks to simplify tax transactions. Its salient provisions include the offsite filing of the Tax Identification Number (TIN), removal of the required annual Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) registration, and harmonization of venue rules to allow fully online filings with the Bureau.

Certainly, the above-mentioned proposal complements Republic Act No. 11032, also known as the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, aimed at increasing efficiency by ridding red tape across the bureaucracy through streamlining of processes and filing of cases against erring government agencies, employees, and/or private accomplices. Hence, we support its recent passage on second reading at the House of Representatives and back any calls for its speedy approval.

We see that HB 8942 will have a positive effect on the country’s scores in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Survey.

Now that we are still in the midst of a pandemic and more contagious variants are emerging, modernizing tax administration and improving tax compliance through streamlining and automation will undoubtedly reduce the burden on taxpayers and eventually encourage people to settle their taxes.

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