MAKATI – In line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s call to further streamline regulatory procedures, simplify processes, and promote responsive government services, the Ease of Doing Business-Anti Red Tape Authority (EODB-ARTA) Advisory Council led by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez is working on establishing a National Business One-Stop Shop (NBOSS) that will co-locate several government agencies, instrumentalities, and local government units to facilitate the issuance of permits and licenses.

During the council’s inaugural meet last 8 August 2019, the National Business One Stop Shop (NBOSS) initiative was presented by the new ARTA Director-General Jeremiah Belgica. According to Belgica, the NBOSS seeks to reduce and expedite the procedures involved in transacting with government offices by providing spaces in one building for key agencies giving clearance in registering a business, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Social Security Services (SSS), Home Development Mutual Fund (PAG-IBIG), as well as the local government unit.

This initiative is a testament of our commitment to the Filipino people in providing better and comfortable life for all. The President was clear in his address that government transactions must be streamlined, simplified, responsive, and client-friendly to deliver services without delay and within a short timeline,” Sec Lopez said.

“The idea is to have an end-to-end process where an entrepreneur wanting to register a business need not go physically to several agencies and the LGU. This in a way is a preview to the eventual end-to-end registration to be done in an online portal. The ultimate ease of doing business is really doing things online and with the use of smartphones. Even the President has been a strong advocate on the use of technology to improve government service delivery,” shared the trade chief.

The NBOSS is set to be piloted in the National Capital Region and will eventually be cascaded in other areas, which will allow easier access to the transacting public. Once implemented, the EODB-ARTA Council projects that starting a business in the country can be done within 3-6 days in 3-5 steps, a big reduction from the current 31 days and 13 steps recorded by World Bank’s Doing Business Report.

Sec. Lopez shared that as soon as the online Business Portal is set-up with the DICT, simple business registration can eventually be within one hour.

As an initial step, the ARTA is set to work on the concept note that will focus on the building blocks of the setting up the NBOSS while the council studies the institutional framework for this initiative.

At the same meeting, the EODB-ARTA Council also established the Doing Business Reform Committee that will comprise of 11 Sub-Committees, which will be responsible for ensuring the continuity of reforms in relation to the Doing Business Report.

The ARTA was also assigned to draft key success indicators as it pursues good regulatory practices to assist government agencies in reengineering as well as streamlining their services, improving the country’s competitiveness, and ensuring compliance of RA 11032.

Present during the council meeting were ARTA Director-General Jeremiah Belgica and Deputy Director-General Ernesto Perez, DTI Undersecretary Rowel Barba and Assistant Secretary Mary Jean Pacheco, Department of Information and Communications Technology Assistant Secretary Rey Caintic, Department of Interior and Local Government Assistant Secretary Ester Aldana, Department of Finance Director Angelica Sarmiento, private sector representative Mr. Peter Wallace, and resource person Mr. Guillermo Luz.

The EODB-ARTA Council is the policy and advisory body to the ARTA that shall formulate policies and programs that will continuously enhance and improve the country’s competitiveness and ease of doing business. It also recommends appropriate measures to promote transparency and efficiency in business practices and government service delivery.♦

Date of Release: 14 August 2019