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Business

Marcos Jr. to sign 'ease of doing business' EO

Ramon Royandoyan - Philstar.com
Marcos Jr. to sign 'ease of doing business' EO
Terry Ridon, Infrawatch PH convenor, called out the Marcos Jr. administration’s latest efforts for creating another layer of red tape.
Miguel De Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. would sign an executive order promoting ease of doing business in the country, a move that could prove redundant as a similar legislation has been passed already. 

In a statement on Tuesday, Malacañang said the EO would make the country competitive with its regional neighbors in terms of attracting foreign direct investments. To do this, the EO, adopting a proposal from the Department of Trade and Industry, would establish a green lane for “strategic” investments.

The green lane would “expedite and streamline the process and requirements for the issuance of permits and licenses, including resolutions of issues concerning strategic investments,” the Palace explained.

The Palace noted that the proposed EO covers all national government agencies and their regional and provincial offices. This proposal also covers local government and quasi-judicial bodies that issue permits and licenses concerning strategic investments. 

"Until we get to change the procedures... and to say that... this might not be needed. This could be extraneous, might be obsolete. You cut it down as much as we can,” Marcos was quoted as saying by the Palace.

Malacañang noted that the proposed EO will mandate local government units and national government agencies to process a permit of license application within three working days within receipt if it’s a “simple transaction.”

A “complex transaction” should only take seven working days. Meanwhile, “highly technical transactions” should only take 20 working days to be issued under this proposal. 

Likewise, the statement said that the DTI’s Board of Investments will create a technical working group will implement the EO. 

A BOI-Investment Assistance Service (BOI-IAS) will be the single entry point of investment that avails Green Lane services that were endorsed as nationally significant or highly desirable projects.

Redundant?

As it is, the previous Duterte administration already created an agency with a similar policy thrust. The Anti-Red Tape Authority was established for the purpose of eliminating bureaucracy and improving the ease of doing business in the country. 

READ: ARTA crafts policy for better regulation

Philstar.com reached out to the DTI for comment but has yet to hear a response as of reporting.

For Terry Ridon, convenor of Infrawatch PH, a public policy think tank, the Marcos Jr. administration’s latest efforts would only create another layer of red tape. He said that the timeline commitments stated in the proposed EO were already part of existing rules. 

“There is nothing new in this EO except to establish another bureaucratic layer in the permitting process through the DTI’s BOI,” Ridon said in a Viber message.

“The timeline commitments are already part of existing rules, and agencies and local governments cannot merely dispense with certain permits as sought by the President because these are statutory mandates, such as environmental permits and housing commitments,” he added.

 “The main governance complaint by the private sector relating to projects was not so much about the number of permits but the corrupt activities undertaken by various offices issuing these permits,” he continued. 

EASE OF DOING BUSINESS LAW

PHILIPPINE ECONOMY

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