NCC rolls out ‘Project Repeal’ to cut red tape in several government agencies

June 15, 2016 at 16:00

NCC rolls out ‘Project Repeal’ to cut red tape in several government agencies

by Catherine Pillas | 

The National Competitiveness Council (NCC) on Monday launched an initiative aimed at eliminating red tape in several government agencies and improving the country’s competitiveness.

Dubbed as “Project Repeal,” NCC said it seeks to identify and streamline regulations that hamper doing business in the country.

As Monday is considered “Project Repeal Day 1,” the NCC announced the initial repeal or amendment of 3,959 issuances across eight agencies: the Departments of Trade and Industry (DTI), Finance (DOF), Energy, Budget and Management (DBM), Tourism, and Labor and Employment, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

Of these 3,959, almost half, or 1,900, will be repealed outright, 2,032 will be delisted from government websites and official rosters, as these have already been repealed in the past, 22 will be consolidated into a single document, while five are for amendment or revision.

Among the most notable changes that have been initiated because of Project Repeal, is an amendment of the implementing rules and regulations of the Government Procurement Act, which the DBM implements. “This is a big one for the DBM, for them to simplify procurement, for us in the NCC it’s a step towards simplifying anything that complicates government rules and regulations,” said Guillermo Luz, private sector cochairman of the NCC.

However, the 3,959 edicts on the chopping block is only a fraction of the 17, 388 laws and regulations being observed by the eight agencies, which are up for review by the Project Repeal technical working group.

The NCC crowd-sources the identification of “inefficient” regulations from the agencies themselves and various businesses, and coordinates with them to determine whether to repeal, delist, amend or consolidate these rules.

NCC said this is only the first step as it intends to tackle redundant or outdated legislation by year-end during “Project Repeal Day 2.”

“We look forward to a second Repeal Day toward the end of the year focusing on legislation, maybe in early December,” Luz said.

For Repeal Day 2, the NCC will focus on Republic Acts and possibly some LGU ordinances.

The DOF, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and DTI have been tagged as being the “most active” in terms of cleaning up its numerous department orders, memorandum circulars, and issuances even before the project launch.

NCC said it hopes that the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the Bureau of Customs, and the DPWH will join the initiative and submit laws and regulations for streamlining.

At the local government level, the NCC said it plans to tackle regulations in the 20 biggest cities first and to secure the assistance of local governments and local business chambers in identifying “redundant” rules.

Meanwhile, Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV said he intends to file a bill calling for the creation of a Philippine Efficiency Office to institutionalize the streamlining of outdated or redundant legislation.

Aquino said this measure is crucial to avoiding another “run-in” between industry groups and the government, citing as an example the dilemma that confronted chemicals and semiconductors manufacturers following the Philippine National Police’s release of a ‘problematic’ regulation.

“The Philippine Efficiency Office will constantly check if any old laws or new are actually detrimental to efficiency,” Aquino said during the launch of the Project Repeal initiative on Monday.

He added that the proposed Philippine Efficiency Office could also help prevent legislators from “over regulating” businesses.


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