Senator Joel Villanueva on Wednesday sought for the immediate passage of Senate Bill No. 1311 or the Expanded Anti-Red Tape Act of 2017, a proposal that aims to address delays and inaction in issuing licenses and permits by government agencies.
The bill amends the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007, a landmark legislation aimed at combating corruption, which Villanueva principally sponsored in the 14th Congress when he was still a party-list representative of CIBAC (Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption).
“For over a decade, we have been steadfast in our fight to cut the bureaucratic red tape, dismantle graft and corrupt practices, and improve the efficiency of delivering frontline services by our government agencies. We hope that with the strengthening of the law that we have sponsored in the past, we would come up with a legislation that will not only curb corruption but will also improve our country’s competitiveness in doing business,” Villanueva explained.
On Tuesday, Villanueva inserted some amendments to the said measure sponsored by Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri.
Under the proposal, the prescribed processing time for the applications of business entities classified as Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) shall take no longer than three (3) working days for simple applications and ten (10) working days for complex applications from the time the application is received.
For special type of businesses that require clearances, accreditation and/or licenses issued by government agencies, the prescribed processing time shall take no longer than thirty (30) working days or as determined by the government agency or instrumentality concerned, whichever is shorter.
The bill also considers applications for permit, license, or authority which were not acted upon within the prescribed period as automatically approved.
Meanwhile, applications for renewal of a license, permit, or authority shall be deemed automatically extended if not acted upon within the prescribed period, until a decision or resolution is rendered.
“We believe that by reducing the requirements and waiting time for the approval of applications submitted by the public would greatly enhance the efficiency of our government agencies and entice more businessmen to invest in our country. We express our huge support for this bill that would definitely give more teeth to our present laws,” Villanueva said.