ARTA Chief Belgica to politicians directive to remove names and faces on public documents

 “Refrain from putting your names and faces on government documents. With the election season nearing, mahigpit po nating pinaaalahanan ang ating kapwa kawani ng gobyerno, na tigilan na ang paglalagay ng mukha at pangalan nila sa mga government funded projects including documents and issuances. Tayo po ay pinapasweldo ng taumbayan, hindi po nila utang na loob sa atin ang de kalidad na serbisyo publiko. Don’t self-promote,” Belgica stressed. ” 

This is the strict reminder of Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) Director General Jeremiah Belgica to government officials as election season draws near. ARTA Chief said he has received numerous complaints that some public servants have their names or faces imprinted on public documents like permits and licenses. 

According to the ARTA DG, politicians have long since taken advantage of this system wherein the head of agency or local government unit usually places the former’s name and picture as indirect advertising or a way to make it appear that the people owe a favor to them. “These pictures of politicians on permits and licenses affect the cost of printing that the applicants are shouldering,” Belgica added. 

Belgica also emphasized that the matter at hand is already being prohibited by the Anti-Epal provision or General Provision No. 82 of the adopted 2021 National Budget. Under the Anti-Epal provision, government officials, whether elected or appointed, are banned from self-promotion through placement of names, pictures, or otherwise on programs, projects, and any other initiatives that are funded by the government through the General Appropriations Act.

ARTA is mandated to monitor the compliance of agencies to R.A. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, which includes checking the agencies’ Citizen’s Charters and other government collaterals such as permits, licenses, and other issuances.

Moreover, ARTA continually conducts surprise inspections of government agencies to ensure that provided services are in line with the law. The ARTA czar is encouraging the public to take pictures and videos of any poor services from any government agency that is in violation of the law and the respective agency’s citizen’s charter. People may use #iARTAnaYan or send an email to to report to ARTA. Reference from Ms Althea Abesamis March 15, 2021

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LTO Taguig District Office Chief suspended after ARTA inspection

As instructed by ARTA Director General Jeremiah Belgica during the inspection, the LTO Region also distributed tarpaulins all over their District Offices to inform the public that the LTO Offices are open and must accommodating the public until 5:00 pm.

 “We cannot really pick and choose sa gobyerno kung pagsisilbihan natin ang taumbayan sa takdang oras. Ngayon sabihin natin na medyo kulang tayo sa tao, humingi ho tayo ng tulong. Kung kinakailangan ho nating mag-automate, mag-automate ho tayo,” the ARTA Czar cited. 

 Following the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA)’s surprise inspection last month at the Land Transportation Office (LTO)- Taguig, the branch now placed its District Office Chief under disciplinary suspension and removed one of its security guards from service. 

The surprise inspection was conducted on February 19, 2021 after ARTA received a complaint report from an applicant who had not been accommodated in the branch after being told by the security guard that it had reached its quota for the day. 

In a letter sent to ARTA last March 1, 2021, the LTO NCR East Regional Director Benjamin Santiago III informed ARTA that the LTO Taguig District Office Chief had been placed under disciplinary suspension and that the security guard involved in the incident had already been removed from service. 

Meanwhile, the LTO Region is already strengthening their Malasakit Help Desk, Customer Service Representative, and Public Assistance Complaints Desk among their District Offices by placing knowledgeable LTO personnel. It had directed its security guards to point the public to said help desks and “not to act as a Customer Service Representative”, the Regional Director reported.

In the previous months, ARTA has been constantly reminding all governments agencies and offices that implementing quota and cut-off systems and not adhering to the no-noon-break policy constitutes for violation under Republic Act No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery law. Reference from Jonah Romasanta March 11, 2021

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ARTA mandated to get onboard of all TRGAs with TradeNet

Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA)’s recently issued memorandum circular that All Trade Regulatory Government Agencies (TRGAs) are now mandated to get on board with the TradeNet, an interoperable online platform to reduce processing time and harmonize the permitting procedures involved in import and export. 

The memorandum circular issued by ARTA last March 5, 2021 provides all 73 identified TRGAs with the guidelines for the mandatory onboarding with TradeNet, an action endorsed by the Ease of Doing Business and Anti-Red Tape Advisory Council. 

While, Trading Across Borders is one of the indicators of the Doing Business Index of the World Bank which looks at an economy’s regulatory environment in terms of the ease of importing and exporting. In the 2020 Doing Business report, the country ranked 113th among 190 economies on said indicator. 

The  digital platform TradeNet was developed and implemented by the Department of Finance and the Department of Information and Communications Technology in 2017. However, the platform only has two agencies that are live pilot users to date. Four agencies are in the preparatory stage of going live, 13 agencies are undergoing process refinements, while 26 are admitted for configuration and linking.

In the memorandum circular, ARTA mentioned that the complete mandatory onboarding of the agencies involved in approving import and export permits and clearances, processing and monitoring entry of goods, and other trading requirements in economic zones are necessary to “effectively implement trade facilitation in the country, promote whole-of-government approach, generate more investments, and improve ease of doing business”. 

Furthermore, this move is also in line with the President’s Administrative Order 23 on February  21,2020 which directs all agencies to eliminate overregulation in the government to promote efficient delivery of services and improve ease of doing business in and the competitiveness of the nation.

The guidelines also provide the TRGAs with a timeline of activities that must be observed in the process of onboarding within a span of 10 weeks from the issuance of the memorandum circular. Failure to comply may be a subject for the filing of appropriate administrative sanctions. Details from Jonah Romasanta March 10, 2021

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