18 April 2022 – The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) is set to officially launch the new e-ARTA Complaints Management System (CMS), the first automated complaints management system in Philippine government.
In response to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s call for the government to automate its processes to make government services more accessible and convenient for the public, ARTA will launch the new system on Tuesday, 19 April 2022, at Citadines Bay City Manila along Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard corner Coral Way in Pasay City on 2:00 p.m pursuant to its Memorandum Circular No. 2022-03.
This, as more people are now seeking ARTA’s services to address their red tape problems.
The e-ARTA CMS also aims to automate ARTA’s complaints filing and handling mechanisms, which is in line with the Authority’s thrust to push for digitalization in the Philippine government.
Through the online platform, ordinary citizens can file complaints before ARTA. The e-ARTA CMS features an electronic ticketing system, paperless complaint filing, cloud storage for back-up, and SMS notification for complainants.
The Authority will also have access to an electronic dashboard where they can monitor real-time updates on filed complaints.
The new system also features active accounts of pilot agency’s Committees on Anti-Red Tape (CART) for quick response.
The e-ARTA CMS was turned over by the Multisys Technologies Corporation to the Authority on 31 March 2022.
ARTA said the new platform can help agencies in addressing their complaints backlog.
ARTA reminds gov’t workers: Be ready to assist travelers despite Holy Week break
13 April 2022 – Secretary Jeremiah B. Belgica, Director General of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), reminded government workers to remain ready to assist travelers despite the Holy Week break.
ARTA Sec. Belgica said this during the monthly Kapihan sa ARTA, held on 12 April 2022, as hundreds of Filipinos are expected to go home to their provinces for the first time in two years following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
“Government work is a ministry, not only to the Lord, but also to the public. Hindi lamang tayo nagtatrabaho, tayo ay nagseserbisyo. We must remain ready to assist travelers especially since this may be the first time in two years that they can come home to their families,” he said.
Undersecretary Eduardo V. Bringas, Deputy Director General for Legal, also assured the public that ARTA will leave their contact lines open to receive their red tape-related complaints and concerns.
“Talagang dumagsa ang mga reklamo sa ARTA,” he said. “Sa’min mismo, kami po’y nagdo-double time sa pagtanggap ng mga complaints.”
Undersecretary Carlos F. Quita, Deputy Director General for Administration, Finance, and Special Programs, also reminded travelers to plan for their trips accordingly to avoid experiencing red tape.
“Alam ko na marami sa atin ang nagbabalak magbiyahe. Ang aking advice sa mga babiyahe, planuhin nang maigi, at laging magi-ingat, keep safe,” he said.
In ARTA’s public service show, “i-ARTA Na ‘Yan!” on 13 April 2022, officials of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) reported on their various initiatives to ensure that Filipinos have access to safe, quick, and easy travel during the Holy Week.
ARTA Sec. Belgica reiterated his recommendations to improve four aspects in Matnog Port, which is one of the most vital logistical doorways in the country. These are infrastructure, policies, processes, and governance.
The ARTA chief then reminded those in government to break down the “silo systems” and work together to cut red tape in the country.
ARTA Sec. Belgica lauds SC for increasing small claims threshold to P1-million
11 April 2022 – Secretary Jeremiah B. Belgica, Director General of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), lauded the Supreme Court (SC) for increasing the threshold of small claims cases from P400,000 to P1 million.
This, after the SC approved procedural rules expediting criminal and civil actions filed before the first level courts. The set of rules, titled “Rules on Expedited Procedures in First Level Courts (A.M. No. 08-8-7-SC),” was approved during the SC’s En Banc deliberation on Tuesday, 1 March 2022.
The small claims court cuts down the number of hearing days from what would usually take two years to only 30 days. It also prohibits lawyers from representing complainants, which means more affordable and less costly litigation for ordinary Filipinos.
A “small claim” is an action that is purely civil in nature and where the claim or relief raised by the plaintiff is solely for the payment or reimbursement of a sum of money. This excludes actions seeking other claims or reliefs aside from payment or reimbursement of a sum of money and those coupled with provisional remedies.
On August 2021, SC Administrator Jose Midas Marquez said over ARTA’s radio show that they would be recommending the increase of the small claims’ threshold.
ARTA Sec. Belgica commended the SC for the new rules.
“We welcome and commend all the streamlining initiatives that are being implemented in the different agencies in our justice system. The new rules raising the threshold of small claims cases to P1-million will surely declog court dockets and speed up the resolution of cases,” he said.
“Historically, the Philippines is infamous for its lagging justice system. According to the Doing Business report conducted by the World Bank Group in 2019, enforcing contracts in the Philippines takes as long as 962 days. But with these developments, I truly believe that the future is bright for our justice system,” he added.
The SC’s new rules also provides that notices may now be served through mobile phone calls, SMS, or instant messaging software applications. Videoconferencing hearings are now also allowed either using the Supreme Court-prescribed platform or alternative platforms and instant messaging applications with video call features, under certain conditions.
The 30-day period within which to set the hearing was also extended to 60 days if one of the defendants resides or is holding business outside the judicial region of the court.
The Small Claims Forms have also been updated and made easier to use with translations in Filipino.