STREAMLINING. Anti-Red Tape Authority Director General Ernesto Perez (center) says the government is reaping the gains of streamlining the systems and procedures of government services, during a press conference held at the ARTA office located inside the NFA Compound, Loakan Road, Baguio City on Thursday (Jan. 26, 2023). He said he is optimistic that LGUs nationwide would be fully compliant with the ease of doing business law not only for the benefit of the government, but most importantly, for the clients who will reap the fruits of a shortened turnaround time in government transactions. (PNA photo by Liza T. Agoot)

BAGUIO CITY – The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) said 98 percent of the local government units (LGUs) of the Cordillera region comply with the government directive to install measures that would ease government transactions.

ARTA North Luzon Director Rodolfo del Rosario Jr. made the pronouncement during a late afternoon press conference Thursday, acknowledging that 81 of the region’s 83 LGUs have submitted their citizens’ charter, which details the processes and requirements in the processing of documents with particular offices within the LGUs.

Cordillera has six provinces, 75 municipalities, and two cities.

The process of streamlining and digitizing is part of compliance with the government’s goals to ease doing business with government agencies.

Del Rosario, however, said several, if not most, of the LGUs have yet to fully comply with the digitalization process.

He said among the challenges faced by the LGUs is slow Internet connectivity, which also slows the turn-around time for the issuance of the document requested.

In the same press conference, ARTA Director General Ernesto Perez cited initiatives to address the issues, such as program partnerships with private entities aimed at fast-tracking the compliance of the LGUs with the ease of doing business.

Perez said among the public-private initiatives that assist third- to fifth-class municipalities that find it difficult to cope with mechanisms in the streamlining implementation are Project Pinasbilis with the Aboitiz group of companies, and Project Paspas Pilipinas with Meralco.

Both projects, which started in the franchise area of Meralco, have distributed computers to various LGUs, aside from installing solar power systems to run computers in areas where power is an issue.

“We can extend the programs to the LGUs in the Cordillera that are having difficulties so that they can meet the government’s requirement,” he said.

He noted that LGUs are mandated to comply with the ease of doing business as a requirement for the approval of a Performance-Based Bonus (PBB) for their workers and officials.

Meanwhile, Perez said at least 91.62 percent of LGUs nationwide have completed, submitted, and are applying their citizen’s charter.

He said the Department of the Interior and Local Government has reported that the implementation of an efficient system that provides prompt action and resolution to government transactions in LGUs has resulted in an upward trend in revenue collections.

“With the initiatives being implemented, we remain hopeful that by 2025, all LGUs nationwide will be fully compliant, because this will not only benefit government but most importantly, the clients who will reap the fruits with a shortened turnaround time to process and obtain a document,” Perez said. (PNA)