ARTA launches project cutting red tape in logistics sector

The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) has launched a program seeking to reduce bureaucratic requirements imposed by Philippine government agencies on the logistics sector, particularly land transportation.

ARTA envisions as the program’s “ultimate result” integration of all “sticker requirements” imposed on cargo trucks by all concerned government agencies, including local government units (LGUs). These sticker requirements will be integrated into a Unified Logistics Pass (ULP) that governing entities in areas where cargo trucks pass through should honor.

The program also aims to centralize into one platform the application process for starting a trucking business.

These initiatives are all part of ARTA’s National Effort for the Harmonization of Efficient Measures of Inter-related Agencies or Project NEHEMIA. Launched last March, Project NEHEMIA is a sector-based streamlining effort that involves both capacity building with identified agencies and public hearings with stakeholders regarding existing and new regulations.

Logistics is one of five sectors included in the first phase of Project NEHEMIA, a program that aims to reduce within 52 weeks the time, cost, requirements, and procedures involved in government transactions in sectors of economic and social significance.
Stifling efficiency

During the virtual launch of Project NEHEMIA for the logistics sector on October 20, ARTA director general Atty. Jeremiah Belgica said the sector “currently requires a regulatory environment that encourages, rather than stifles, efficiency and competitiveness.”

“An efficient logistics sector contributes to trade performance and economic development simply by lowering transaction costs and creating more customer value, thus, providing firms an opportunity to increase their earnings and enhance their competitiveness,” he added.

ARTA deputy director general Atty. Ernesto V. Perez, in a presentation during the launch, said the target is to substantially reduce procedures/steps by 73% for the land transport sector, from 209 steps to just 56 steps, and the time by 87% from 271 days to just 35 days.

Citing World Bank-International Finance Corp. figures, Perez said this reduction will lower land transportation cost-including tariff to companies and professionals/middlemen, and opportunity costs-by P1.920 billion to P378.834 million from the pre-reform cost of P2.229 billion.

Proposed reforms include streamlining of procedures, which will be the precursor for the eventual automation of process that will allow for online filing, processing and payment.

Processing of applications will be integrated into ARTA’s Central Business Portal (CBP) to allow agencies to share their documents within one platform and eliminate redundant requirements.

CBP, to be launched in November, is a consolidated platform that will receive applications and capture application data involving business-related transactions.

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