Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri maintained Thursday that current laws are enough to curb red tape in government and that agencies tasked to implement them are only not doing enough.

zubiri 1 - Zubiri: Current laws enough to curb red tape
Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri
(Senate of the Philippines / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Zubiri defended Republic Act 11032 or Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Act amid plans for its amendment as requested by President Duterte.

Duterte met Senate President Vicente Sotto III, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, and other members of Congress Wednesday to discuss legislation improving the administration efforts against excessive bureaucracy. Sotto said that Duterte specifically wanted to amend the EODB Law and the Anti-Red Tape Act.

“The EODB law is more than enough. The problem is its not being implemented properly and there have been little or no cases filed against erring government personnel in violation of the law,” said Zubiri, author and sponsor of the law in Senate.

“Parang wala pa akong narinig na kinakasuhan ng Anti-Red Tape Authority (I haven’t heard of someone being charged by ARTA) which is mandated to file the necessary complaints with the Ombudsman ‘pag may nahuli silang nag delay ng mga projects (if they are found delaying projects) within the required amount of waiting time under the law),” he added.

Government processes and issuance of permits and licenses would have been faster if the ARTA implemented the EODB law and sued erring officials, he said.

“That’s why implement the law properly and be not afraid to file cases against them under the stiff penalties of the law. ‘Yan ang kailangan gawin (That’s what we need to do),” Zubiri reiterated.

RA 11032, signed by Duterte in May 2018, requires government offices to streamline processes and complete simple transactions within three days, complex transaction within seven days, and highly technical applications and requests within 20 days.

In case the agency fails to approve or disapprove applications within the prescribed period, the application shall be considered approved.

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