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Digitization of gov’t services eyed in ‘new normal’

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

The government cited the need to maximizing technology as the country prepares to shift to the “new normal” due to the effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.

Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) Director-General Jeremiah Belgica (ARTA / MANILA BULLETIN)

Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) Director-General Jeremiah Belgica

In their fourth meeting, the Ease of Doing Business and Anti-Red Tape Advisory Council, they discussed strategies towards the digitization of government functions as the country transitions into the new normal.

The council, chaired by Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and vice-chaired by Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) director-general Jeremiah Belgica, agreed that government agencies should start to maximize the use of technology in the efficient and timely delivery of government services online to minimize the risk of further spreading the disease.

Prior to this, ARTA had issued advisories which urged government agencies to fully adopt an online application system as an alternative to on-site application procedures.

The ARTA likewise called on the agencies to issue online permits and use e-signatures in the processing of government transactions.

The council is also set to endorse to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases the creation of a Support Group that will oversee the implementation of Rapid Regulatory Impact Assessment (RRIA) .

According to ARTA, the RRIA will be an expedited form of regulatory assessment that will ensure proper policy formulation that do not add undue regulatory burden to the transacting public especially during the pandemic.

Doing Business survey

Meanwhile, the council likewise discussed the reforms and initiatives to improve the country’s competitiveness ranking to be submitted to the World Bank for its 2021 Doing Business (DB) Report.

Despite the global health crisis, the result of the annual report is still expected to be published later in the year.

“With the upcoming survey, we are fast tracking and doubling our efforts toward ensuring that all our reform initiatives will reflect and count in our competitiveness profile, especially during this time when our country is dealing with the economic impact of this ongoing COVID-19 crisis”, Belgica said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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