MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday signed into law the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.

In his speech during the signing ceremony at Malacañan Palace, Duterte said the signing of the law is “long overdue” as it will solve the perennial problem of bureaucracy.

“This law will introduce simplified requirements and streamline procedures that will finally spare our people from the intolerable waiting time and long lines in frontline government agencies,” Duterte said.

The President said the new law will address the failure of the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 to solve the perennial problem of bureaucratic red tape in government institutions.

“One of the most important features of this law is the standardization of the processing time for government transactions,” he said.

With the signing of the law, the government agencies are required to process simple transactions within three days and complete transactions in seven days and highly technical transactions in 20 days.

The law will also limit to a maximum of three the number of signatories for applications for licenses, clearances, permits, certifications and authorizations.

Electronic signatures will also be recognized and a zero-contact policy will be implemented to avoid improprieties.

“Local governments are also mandated by this new law to automate their business permit and licensing systems, to set up one-stop business facilitation services and to use online unified business application forms,” Duterte said.

The new law complements the mandate of the Department of Information and Communications Technology to automate business-related transactions through web-based software and technological platforms.

“One of the priorities of our Ten-Point Socio-Economic Agenda is to encourage competitiveness and improve the overall business environment. We intend to accomplish that by promoting integrity, accountability and good governance in all government transactions,” Duterte said.

“By automating our bureaucratic processes and integrating online mechanisms in day-to-day transactions, we do not just bring our people closer to their government. We also forge a vibrant and productive relationship that will redound to the benefit of the people,” he added.

In the same event, Duterte also enacted into law a bill converting the Davao Oriental State College of Science & Technology into the Davao Oriental State University.

“This is in recognition of the institution’s valuable role in molding professionals and experts who have contributed to the advancement of Davao Region and the rest of Mindanao,” Duterte, former Davao City mayor, said.

“It is my sincere hope that our country’s newest university will continue to take part in nation-building by offering advanced technological instruction and by pursuing highly specialized research programs in various fields of science and technology,” he added.

The signing ceremony was attended by different government officials including new Senate President Vicente Sotto III and House Speaker Pantaleon ‘Bebot’ Alvarez. (PNA)