Gov’t to build automated citizen, business registries to cut red tape

Chrisee Dela Paz
Gov’t to build automated citizen, business registries to cut red tape
All government agencies will share data in these systems to ease tedious processes Filipinos normally encounter when applying for licenses, permits, and other official documents

MANILA, Philippines – To cut red tape and the processing time for government frontline services, the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) have partnered to develop automated business and citizen registry systems.

Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran said his office expects the registry systems to be operational before 2016 ends.

“We are building these systems because we want to unburden our citizens from submitting documentary requirements that we, in government, already have in our records,” Beltran said in a statement on Wednesday, August 3. (READ: National ID to benefit unemployed, unbanked Filipinos)

Beltran explained that all government agencies will share data in these systems to ease tedious processes Filipinos normally encounter when applying for licenses, permits, and other official documents.

We want to align what we are doing with what President [Rodrigo] Duterte wants, which is to make one submission of documents to be good for all agencies,” he added.

On July 18, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III issued Department Order No. 38-2016 creating the DOF Anti-Red Tape Team. He named Beltran as its chairperson.

‘Lasting solution to perennial problem’

Beltran said young Filipino information technology experts are developing and designing these registries, “unlike before when the government would have to tap expensive foreign consultants for its IT requirements.”

“They are not just 100% Filipinos; it is the young and innovative youth of the Philippines [who] are doing this,” said Beltran.

In his first State of the Nation Address, Duterte reiterated his directive to all Cabinet officials to reduce requirements and the processing time of all applications filed in government offices “from the [day of] submission to release.”

Beltran said the Business Registry and the Citizens’ Registry, which will be primarily developed by the DICT, is a lasting solution to the perennial problem of red tape in all government offices.

He said the Business Registry would be a database of all operating businesses, non-governmental organizations, and cooperatives in the country, while the Citizens’ Registry would provide the government with a comprehensive record of all Filipinos in the system.

These systems will allow individuals and corporate entities to easily track and validate their records, removing from them the burden of proving legitimacy, Beltran said.

He said the DOF and the DICT are giving the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 a new and innovative approach.

“Now, we are focusing on the citizens, the government’s clients, and how we can make it easier for them to apply for permits and other things they need in government offices by checking requirements online instead of asking them to submit many documents,” Beltran said.

In the DOF, Beltran said agencies under its wing have taken “concrete, short-term solutions” to cut red tape.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has removed 3 out of an average 6 documents required for the issuance of the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).

The Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation has removed one out of an average of 4 documents and cut the number of days to process frontline services within the day, he said.

Beltran said a memorandum of agreement may be needed among concerned government agencies to ensure the appropriate protocols on cost sharing and the use and sharing of data. – Rappler.com

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