Bureaucracy teaches us two things: to wait, and to execute everything in triplicate. “Red tape” has evolved from the practice of Charles V, King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor, of using red ribbon to identify important state documents. Now, it describes a system of regulations and official actions that restrict or deny access to swift and quality government services. The problem of red tape has proven to be perennial, unlike the empires from which it began.
Like all modern political regimes, the Philippines is no stranger to red tape. Back in 2007, Republic Act No. 9485, or The Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA), was passed to combat red tape and promote transparency and efficiency in the delivery of government services. Fast-forward to 2018, the Philippines falters at nine spots down the IMD World Competitiveness Ranking and ranks 113th out of 190 countries in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index.
In a much needed effort to address this problem, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act No. 11032, or The Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, amending the ARTA by strengthening it and giving it teeth.
With RA No. 11032 now in full force and effect, its more prominent features deserve to be highlighted.
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NOEL CHRISTIAN O LUCIANO is an associate of the litigation and dispute resolution department at ACCRA Law Offices.
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