The Ease of Doing Business Act cannot be used as an excuse to shortcut the vetting and approval of applications by the government, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said.

zubiri 1 - Zubiri says Ease of Doing Business fasttracks OK of applications
Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri (Senate of the Philippines / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Zubiri, author of the sponsor of the Republic Act No. 11032, said the law only mandates that government processes be sped up.

“The EODB is there as a guide para mapabilis ‘yung mga proseso (to expedite processes), applications for licenses and certification. Ibig sabihin po niyan, gawin din po nila ang proseso, pero bilisan lang nila (This means that they should still follow the process, only faster). Hindi po ibig sabihin na i-shortcut na lahat na pag may aplikante, approve na lahat (This is not a shortcut to approve all applicants),” he told reporters in an online interview Friday.

Zubiri was asked about the graft charges recommended by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against Bureau of Customs (BoC) chief Rey Leonardo Guerrero and other officials over their accreditation of alleged ghost importers.

In a report by GMA News Thursday, the BoC officials were quoted as saying that the approval of the accreditation was only “ministerial” on their part and in pursuant of the EODB law.

“Siyempre kailangan din po nilang magbackground check, kailangan din po nila magresearch kung ito po’y tamang ahensya or tamang kumpanya na nag-aapply sa kanila (Of course they should conduct background check, they should still research if these applicants are credible). A simple background check will show if it is a ghost company,” Zubiri said.

“Kaya (So) they cannot use the EODB as an excuse. ‘Yung 20 days na binigay po namin sapat na panahon na ‘yan para gumawa ng background investigation and background check sa mga aplikante nila (The 20 days we gave under the law is enough a time for them to conduct background investigation and background checks on their applicants),” he added.

“Ibig sabihin siguro hindi po nila pinaganda ang sistema nila, hindi sila nagcomputerize or naging more efficient in terms of data gathering para gawin nila ang tungkulin nila (This could mean that they did not improve their system or became more efficient in terms of data gathering to properly do their job).”

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