Tuesday, November 13, 2018
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Sans IRR, implementation of law on ease of doing business hangs

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE/Philippine Daily Inquirer

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez. (File photo by GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

The implementation of the ease of doing business law might face further delay, after the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) missed its own deadline on the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the much awaited law.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said on Tuesday that they have submitted a draft of the IRR to Malacanang on Oct. 22 for President Rodrigo Duterte’s consideration.

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This, however, also meant that DTI passed a draft on the same day it promised to release the final IRR to the public, falling short of expectations despite the mounting pressure from different members of the business community and other stakeholders.

Known as the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act, the law is meant to address the private sector’s qualms about red tape.

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The law promises to speed up government transactions, limiting them to a short window of time depending on the complexity of the task. Failure to follow the prescribed time frame will be met with administrative and even criminal liability.

The implementation of the law, however, is also delayed by the fact that the government has not yet put up the Anti-Red Tape Authority, a newly created body meant to implement the law.

In the absence of an appointed director general, DTI currently acts as the temporary secretariat of the body.

“The IRR was submitted [on Oct. 22.] Official issuance [will take place] once the [ARTA director general] and ARTA [Anti-Red Tape Authority are] constituted,” Lopez said in a viber message to reporters.

Asked for comment, the Management Association of the Philippines stressed the importance of the law, calling it a “very important and “transformational piece of legislation” which could ease red tape, improve efficiency, and lessen corruption.

“This law will help fulfil the commitment of President Duterte to cut red tape. For its benefits to be realized by the transacting public and business sector, the sooner release of the IRR is imperative and not delayed further,” said Eduardo Yap, Chairman of MAP National Issues Committee. /jpv

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TAGS: Business, DTI, Duterte, ease of doing business, local news, Philippine news update
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