By Louella Desiderio, May 8, 2024; Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — An executive order (EO) streamlining the permitting process for the government’s priority infrastructure projects will support the push for infrastructure development by expediting project implementation, according to the National Economic and Development Authority.

In a statement, NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said that EO 59 signed last April 30 would support the goals of the country’s overall development plan or the Philippine Development Plan 2023 to 2028, through the upgrade of the country’s infrastructure.

Through the streamlined processing of the government’s priority or infrastructure flagship projects (IFPs), he said “we are making it easier for implementing agencies and more attractive for our partners in the private sector to execute transformative infrastructure projects that would spur job creation for our people and enable us to sustain our economy’s rapid expansion.”

EO 59 simplifies the requirements for projects included in the IFP list approved by the NEDA Board.

At present, there are 185 projects valued at P9.14 trillion under the IFP list.

As part of the EO, all national government agencies and local government units (LGUs) need to review their Citizen’s Charters to remove redundant and burdensome procedures.

“The primary goal of this EO is to minimize, if not eliminate, delays in the implementation of IFPs. We are in a hurry to catch up with our neighbors in the region so the government must enable – not hinder – the timely completion of these projects,” Balisacan said.

The EO also directs national government agencies and LGUs to adopt an online system and/or electronic submission and acceptance of applications, as well as issuance of licenses and permits for the IFPs.

To promote seamless data sharing, government agencies are mandated to automate and computerize their databases.

LGUs are encouraged to coordinate with the Department of Information and Communications Technology to adopt the electronic system maintained by the latter to ensure interoperability.

Also part of the EO is the establishment of one-stop shops for IFPs.

With the EO in place, Balisacan said “the Marcos administration signifies its commitment to aggressively advance infrastructure development as a key driver to our social and economic transformation.”