ARTA urges uniformed personnel to report delays in processing of benefits claims

Marje Pelayo   •   May 24, 2021   •   230

MANILA, Philippines — The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) reiterates its reminder to uniformed personnel who have existing benefit claims to report to the agency any delays in their applications.

ARTA Undersecretary Carlos Quita said they have provided an email account that is exclusive only to the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP)

All other individuals with problems in their benefit claims and other matters may forward their concerns through ARTA.gov.ph.

In addition, the agency signed a joint circular creating a task force that will manage the streamlining of the processes to assist military and police personnel in their benefit claims.

Quita said the very purpose of this is to improve existing systems and integrate them into one streamlined system that can be managed both at the local and national level. It will also allow claimants to access the system online.

The joint circular was signed by representatives from ARTA, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), National Police Commission (NPC), Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), AFP, PNP, Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Fire Protection, and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

ARTA launches task force to fast-track benefit claims of uniformed personnel

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) has launched a task force that would fast-track the processing of benefit claims of uniformed personnel.

The task force was officially established on Thursday (May 20) during a virtual ceremonial launching. It aims to create policies that would streamline the processing of claims of the legal beneficiaries of uniformed personnel. It aims to automate the death benefit claims and other entitlements of the beneficiaries. A one-stop-shop would also be placed in various regions and localities.

ARTA Director General Secretary Jeremiah Belgica said the agency had to respond to the difficulties faced by the relatives of uniformed personnel in claiming benefits. This was also following the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte  in March 2021 to automate and speed up the processing of death benefit claims of uniformed personnel.

ARTA Deputy Director General for Administration, Finance Usec.  Carlos Quita will serve at the helm of the task force as its chairman. The task force is composed of members of Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

The agency has also set up afppnpclaims@arta.gov.ph, a dedicated email for beneficiaries to send their concerns on processing their claims. AAC

ARTA signs joint memorandum to expedite permitting process for local vax manufacturers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) signed a joint memorandum circular (JMC) with other key government agencies to speed up the permitting process for local vaccine manufacturers.

On Wednesday (May 19), ARTA together with the Department of Health (DOH), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Trade and Industry-Board of Investments (DTI-BOI), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF-COVID19), have signed the memorandum circular where agencies involved in the permitting process such as the FDA shall follow the green lane’s guidelines.

“Bulk supplies of vaccines will be imported from abroad and the local companies will fill and package vials locally for distribution,” the JMC read.

Under the green lane, applications for a License to Operate (LTO) as a vaccine manufacturer shall take no more than 20 working days and it would enable pharmaceutical companies to put up manufacturing facilities within 10 months.

The JMC is a response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to lessen the Philippines’ dependence on COVID-19 vaccine importation and capacitate the country in developing its own vaccines. -AAC

Anti-Red Tape Authority to probe FDA officials over delayed permit applications

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) said it will investigate officials of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over delayed processing of permit applications.

During the Laging Handa press briefing, ARTA Director Atty. Jeremiah Belgica said they already filed show cause orders to the FDA on Tuesday (May 11) for alleged 600 pending drug certification applications since 2014.

He also reported that 23 pharmaceutical companies have filed affidavits against the FDA for its lack of action concerning their applications.

Belgica urged the FDA to release the pending permit applications. He said that the processing of these applications should not take long since most of the permits are under automatic renewal applications or products that have previously been approved. He stressed that these products do not need to be further reviewed.

“Simpleng affidavit lang po ang nire-require ng FDA dito. So ibig sabihin kapag naisubmit na ang mga affidavit na iyan, automatically renewed na dapat po iyan. Pero sa ganito hindi nagiging automatic ang renewal,” he said.

(The FDA is only requiring a simple affidavit, meaning, once you have submitted one it will automatically be renewed. However, with the current situation, it is not being automatically renewed).

Belgica also said ARTA is coordinating with the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) to conduct lifestyle checks on officials allegedly involved in red tape.

He said that red tape is connected to corruption. He also reported that the complaints exceed more than 600 since the agency is still receiving complaints against centers under the FDA.

ARTA has yet to release the number of additional complaints.

Belgica also urged the FDA and the Department of Health (DOH) to replace erring personnel to avoid any hint of corruption in the agencies.

“Tanggalin na ang mga dapat tanggalin at dapat po maglagay tayo ng mga tauhan na talagang magrereporma,” he said.

(Remove those needed to be removed and replace them with personnel who would side the reform.) AAC

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