By Bruce Rodriguez, September 20, 2021; ABS-CBN News

Manila – The Philippines’ Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) launched Monday the first phase of an online platform where the public and government agencies can access all regulations related to opening a business.

ARTA deputy Director General, Undersecretary Ernesto Perez said the launching of the Philippine Business Regulations Information System (PBRIS) and the Anti-Red Tape Electronic Management Information System (ARTEMIS) would help ensure the dissemination and public access to information on regulatory management.

“This will allow both the transacting public and a government agency a platform wherein one who intends, for instance, to engage in a particular business will just click on his computer and they would like to find out what are the regulations involved when he intends, for instance, in the business of food,” Perez said.

He said the system will provide public as well as government agencies a way to know if regulations have been revised or updated.

With the Philippine government consisting of over 4,000 national agencies and 6,000 local government units, Perez said, they’ll first focus on onboarding agencies that deal with priority sectors.

These industries are in food, pharmaceuticals, logistics, socialized housing, energy, and telecommunications.

Following the pilot testing, Perez explained, they target to cover all other agencies by next year.

ARTA director general secretary Jeremiah Belgica said PBRIS and ARTEMIS would also keep the country’s ease of doing business efforts on track despite the discontinuance of the World Bank’s Doing Business Report amid controversies of manipulating data to boost China’s ranking.

“We can expect that there would be a continued push on Ease of Doing Business and I would say that we’re also looking into having a localized version of the scoring so that we would be able to ascertain our progress,” Belgica explained.

He also added they’re preparing the Report Card Survey for the country which is expected to be rolled out before the year ends.

“Our efforts would be undeterred because the efforts against red tape and the efforts towards the Ease of Doing business, it’s so big, it’s so large that it cannot be contained in one study,” Belgica noted.

But he said the Philippines is still looking forward to the World Bank’s new survey in the coming years.

PBRIS and ARTEMIS were supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the University of the Philippines Public Administration Research and Extension Services Foundation’s (UPPAF) Project RESPOND (Regulatory Support Program for National Development).