The Department of Finance (DOF) has secured a P21.5 million grant from the German development bank Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) Group to implement an anti-red tape initiative that would simplify processes in securing documentary requirements for imports and exports, along with harmonizing these systems as part of the Duterte administration’s efforts to ease the way of doing business in the Philippines and facilitate its integration into the regional community of Southeast Asian economies.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the grant from the Frankfurt-based KfW Group will help implement the Inter-Agency Business Process Interoperability (IABPI) Program, which aims to streamline the process of issuing permits for imports and exports from the current two weeks to a maximum of only three days, in compliance with President Duterte’s directive to cut red tape in all government offices.
In a separate report submitted to Dominguez by Undersecretary Gil Beltran, the project will not only improve the deliver of this frontline government service, but would also contribute to the increase in revenues, facilitate regional trade links and the entry or expansion of businesses in the Philippines.
President Duterte, in his speech after being sworn into office last June 30, directed “all department secretaries and the heads of agencies to reduce requirements and the processing time of all applications from the submission to release.”
The IABPI will be implemented by the DOF’s Policy Development and Management Services Group in coordination with the government’s trade regulatory agencies, according to Beltran, who was recently named by Dominguez to be the DOF’s anti-red tape czar.
Besides simplifying import-export documentation processes, the program’s targets include developing policies to “oversee, manage and harmonize transactions of all regulatory agencies” involved in these processes by establishing protocols to link their information with each other.
Thus, making the agencies a member of a collaborative group that will be able to exchange information with one another and become interoperable.
According to Beltran, “The major cause of red-tape in government is that agencies act and operate in isolation of each other”.
The Department of Finance through the IABPI Project is leading the way for interoperability in the whole of government.
(Government interoperability is the mix of policy, management, and technology capabilities needed by a network of agencies to deliver coordinated government programs and services.)
The program also aims to enforce “transparent and accountable regulation processes and procedures [in] all relevant government agencies” and ensure that these would be sustained.