BOC employees to act on documents within 5 days

Bureau of Customs officials and personnel are now mandated to take action within five (5) days of receipt of official communication from its internal and external stakeholders to facilitate processing of documents.

Pursuant to Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 24-2017, employee shall acknowledge receipt of the documents and act upon it within 5 days or refer it to appropriate office if it’s not within its jurisdiction.

The CMO rendered the affected existing Citizen’s Charters of BOC relevant offices obsolete and shall be revised, reprinted and reposted. It also provides that non-compliance of employees may be a ground for administrative and disciplinary sanctions for erring employees.

CMO 24-2017 was signed by Commissioner Isidro Lapeña last 23 October 2017 in response to the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to all government agencies to expedite processing of letters, requests and permits.

It also cited the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 (Republic Act (RA) 9845),  Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards from Public Officials and Employees (RA 6713) and SONA Directive No. 2017-0010 issued by Cabinet Secretary Leoncio V. Evasco, Jr. last 7 September 2017 which directs “All Department Secretaries and Agency Heads to ensure that all Directors and its personnel in their respective agencies act on letters and requests from the public within 15 working days, subject to existing laws, rules and regulations.- Asnia R. Bayabao

Ease of Doing Business Bill passed on Senate 3rd Reading

The Senate passed on third reading the Senate Bill 1311 or the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Act of 2017 which seeks to establish a national policy of ease of doing business, creating for the purpose the Ease of Doing Business Commission. The bill was sponsored by Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, chair of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.

The bill sets a new prescribed processing period under which both national and local government offices will have to process the application and communicate the decision regarding the status of the application. This period will not be longer than three (3) working days for simple transactions and seven (7) working days for complex transactions from the time the application was received. For highly technical applications, the bill prescribes a maximum processing time of thirty (30) working days.

To ensure the attainment of the objective of this Act, an Ease of Doing Business Commission will be created. The Commission shall be the policy-making body on business registration and regulatory management and shall set the overall direction for the implementation of the National Policy on Ease of Doing Business.

Likewise, the House Committee on Trade and Industry recently approved the same version of the aforesaid bill. The House of Representatives is targeting to pass the measure before its Session break on 14 October 2017. The EODB Act is certified as urgent by President Rodrigo Duterte. –Ma. Divine Grace T. Derez

Legal Framework ratified to implement ASEAN Single Window

The Philippines has ratified the Protocol on the Legal Framework (PLF) to implement the ASEAN Single Window (ASW). The instrument of ratification was signed by the President on 28 June 2017. The ASW is an electronic gateway that provides seamless and simplified information among ASEAN member states.

This means that the Philippines can now electronically receive and send certificates of origin under the ASEAN Trade in Goods agreement (ATIGA Form D), the document needed to avail of the preferential tariff agreement.

Other cross-border documents will also be exchanged under the ASW Gateway in the future. With this, it will facilitate trade between the Philippine and ASEAN neighbors.

Eventually, the ASW connection will help the Philippines to increase its competitiveness in terms of ease of doing business (EODB), and will increase the transparency of cargo processing by providing more accurate, timely, and cost-efficient exchange of information.- Asnia R. Bayabao & Aira Angel S. Baleos

Exporters support establishment of TradeNet

The export sector fully supports the establishment of the TradeNet which aims to harmonize government trade processes and gradually reduce red-tape in the paperless processing of import and export permits.

The TradeNet will serve as an automated permit, licensing and clearance system integrated into one platform for 66 Trade Regulatory Government Agencies (TRGAs) and 10 economic zones. It will cover the functions of the National Single Window (NSW). Continue reading “Exporters support establishment of TradeNet”