Jeremiah Belgica appointed Anti-Red Tape Authority chief

Pia Ranada
Belgica's appointment as ARTA director general means the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Ease of Doing Business law can now be approved

3RD BELGICA. Jeremiah Belgica joins his brother and father in the Duterte administration. Image from Jeremiah Belgica Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – A 3rd member of the Belgica family has joined the Duterte administration.

Lawyer Jeremiah Belgica, brother of Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) commissioner Greco Belgica, was appointed director general of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) by President Rodrigo Duterte.

According to a list of new appointees from Malacañang, Belgica’s appointment papers were signed on Wednesday, July 3.

Aside from Greco and Jeremiah, their father, Grepor, is also a Duterte appointee. He was named Presidential Adviser for Religious Affairs last May 20.

Good news for ‘ease of doing business’ law

Belgica’s appointment is critical for Duterte’s push to lessen government red tape and streamline bureaucracy. 

His appointment means there is now a regular ARTA director general who can finally approve the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 (Republic Act No. 11032).

The new law, an amendment of the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007, seeks to make the process of putting up and running a business in the Philippines easier and more efficient. It was signed by Duterte in May 2018.

More than a year later, the law is yet to be implemented fully because of the absence of an approved IRR. ARTA officer-in-charge Ernesto Perez had previously said only a regular ARTA director general, along with the trade secretary and Civil Service Commission chairperson can promulgate the law’s IRR.

The Department of Trade and Industry managed to draft the IRR by October 2018, but it is yet to be signed because of the absence of an ARTA director general. Perez, as OIC, is limited to administrative functions and cannot sign the IRR. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.