ARTA launches the Philippine Regulatory Impact Assessment manual

The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) launched on October 28 the Philippine Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) Manual, a landmark reference document that explains the procedures of undertaking a regulatory impact assessment to ensure regulations undergo proper consultations and a regulatory impact statement is madebefore policies are issued.

Secretary Jeremiah B. Belgica, ARTA director general, in his remarks during the online launch said ARTA developed the RIA Manual to improve the policy and public management quality of the country’s bureaucracy.
“In a nutshell, this guide will assist government agencies and local government units in enacting sound and effective regulations that would surely benefit the citizens and the stakeholders.”

He added that this will redound to the maturation of the regulatory management system of the Philippines. “We are anticipating that by the end of the year we would be graduating from a starter stage into an enabled stage,” Belgica said.

According to a 2016 study, the levels of maturity in the regulatory management system are divided into four stages: starter, enabled, practiced and embedded. Belgica added that they hope to advance to the next stage “by 2022 and 2023 and even beyond as we continue to push for the maturation of our regulatory management

Undersecretary Ernesto V. Perez, deputy director general for operations at ARTA, in his presentation said the manual aims to promote inclusive rulemaking through public consultation and evidence-based rulemaking through analytical tools such as benefit cost analysis and multi-criteria decision analysis.

The RIA manual also seeks to streamline regulatory requirements through standard cost model and to support whole-of-society rulemaking through gender and social inclusion impact analysis, competition impact assessment, environmental assessment, and disaster risk impact assessment.

To jumpstart the implementation of RIA, the ARTA has issued Memorandum Circular (MC) 2021-06, which provides the interim guidelines and notifies regulatory agencies of the implementation this year of the pilot RIA for proposed and existing regulations, Perez said.

The pilot RIA started last May “to determine the usability of information materials regarding the RIA process,” and involves 24 selected agencies which are undergoing RIA training, he added.

“The selected agencies should adhere to the RIA process identified in the interim guidelines. In that way, the RIA Manual has been pilot tested with the training programs conducted on these select agencies.”

The agencies include several departments, the National Economic and Development Authority, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, National Housing Authority, and National Privacy Commission, among others.

Section 5 of Republic Act (RA)No. 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, states that all proposed regulations of government agencies must undergo regulatory impact assessment to see if their proposed regulations do not add undue regulatory burden and cost to these agencies and the applicants or requesting parties.

The drafting of the RIA Manual is also mandated by Section 17 of RA 11032, which states that ARTA must conduct consultations with appropriate agencies to create regulatory management manuals for all government agencies, local government units, and other government instrumentalities.

The manual was developed in partnership with the University of the Philippines Public Administration Research and Extension Services Foundation, Inc.-Regulatory Support Program for National Development, with support from the United States Agency for International Development and the UP Public Administration Research and Extension Service Foundation.

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