ARTA moves to check ‘bottlenecks’ in import, export of processed foods

The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) said it would assist in the streamlining of processes and requirements and harmonizing the overlapping mandates on importation and exportation in the processed food sector.

Last January 25,2023, ARTA Secretary Ernesto V. Perez, together with the Better Regulations Office (BRO) and Compliance Monitoring and Evaluation Office (CMEO), met with Chairperson Philip Young of the Export Development Council’s (EDC)-Networking Committee on Agri-Policy (NCAP) to tackle the bottlenecks that their members have encountered in transacting with concerned agencies.

According to the anti-red tape watchdog, this transpired after EDC-NCAP tapped ARTA to help in coming up with solutions to resolve these regulatory constraints.

“The concerns and issues raised and brought to ARTA’s attention will be addressed by the Authority’s streamlining programs, as well as its digitalization initiatives in collaboration with the Department of Information and Communications Technology [DICT]. These are spearheaded by BRO and CMEO, as enabled by the Ease of Doing Business Law,” Perez said in a statement released on Thursday.

The authority said BRO, its regulatory arm, would spearhead the review of relevant regulations to avoid undue burden to stakeholders.

Meanwhile, the anti-red tape watchdog said CMEO will head the monitoring of mandatory compliances of the concerned agencies, particularly, the provision of an updated Citizen’s Charter reflecting an accurate list of requirements and processing times, under Republic Act No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.

The ARTA chief also emphasized the eventual integration of the regulatory agencies in the TradeNet will allow a more simplified and end-to-end processing of licenses and permits through a single, online portal.

“As for concerns regarding the overlapping mandates in the regulatory agencies, it will be addressed through a joint administrative order [JAO] after a thorough consultation with the agencies,” Perez said.

In relation to this, ARTA said it would hold a series of consultation meetings with the involved regulatory agencies in the coming weeks.

The Export Development Council (EDC) has the mandate of identifying the main bottlenecks, problem areas and constraints in all areas/sectors/activities which influence the development of exports and periodically review and assess the country’s export performance, problems and prospects.

According to its web site, the council can also mandate specific departments and agencies to attend to the bottlenecks and problems constraining the development of exports.


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