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Valenzuela City and the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to streamline good governance through an anti-red tape bundle program called "ARTA package", according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

In a virtual MOU signing, Maria Rizza Torno, program manager of the ARTA package, said ARTA developed five programs that aims to capacitate cities and municipalities to uphold good governance.

Torno said the ARTA package includes the committee on anti-red tape (CART), adoption of ARTA compliance measures, capacity building, business one-stop-shop, and the activation of the local board of assessment appeals.

ARTA director-general Jeremiah Belgica said RA 11032 targets to streamline, re-engineer, and eliminate the burden of overregulation in the country.

"May this be a symbol and a continuous testament to our joint commitment between ARTA and the city of Valenzuela in making a better Philippines today, making a better Valenzuela City and making a brighter and a more streamlined future for our generations to come," Belgica said.

Mayor Rex Gatchalian, meanwhile, said one of the thrusts of the local government is to make sure that business processes in the city are "both automated and compliant with ease of doing business."

Gatchalian said the city earlier launched “3S Plus Online Services” or the Paspas Permit system initiative, which is one of the city's programs that fully comply with the ARTA law.

"In the coming months, we look forward to a deeper partnership with ARTA as we launch new modules of our Paspas permit that will now include the zooming permit and sanitation permit," Gatchalian added.

He said the city's Paspas permit system is aimed at pushing more efficient, fast, and convenient government transactions, particularly during the health crisis.

Under the MOU, the city government is tasked to review and monitor its processes in rendering various government services to ensure fast and efficient services to its constituents.

The ARTA will provide necessary assistance to Valenzuela’s efforts in assessment and improvement of the business one-stop-shop, and the activation of a local board of assessment appeals.

Anna Liza Bonagua, director of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), said the signed MOU signifies a commitment of the two parties to instituting measures to ease of doing business and efficient delivery of social services to the people.

Bonagua said the DILG acknowledges the efforts of the local government to streamline services, creating efficient processes to ensure that people receive the quality services that they truly deserve as well as providing a conducive environment of livelihood.

"ARTA with many national government agencies, DILG included, have joined forces to provide guidance and capacitate local governments institute measures to improve service delivery and fast-track transactions in local governments," she said.

Bonagua added that the demand for good governance is made even more urgent by the onslaught of the pandemic.

She said Valenzuela is among the trailblazers in terms of ease of doing business programs, harnessing digital innovations as well as streamlining processes of business applications and processing permits.

Bonagua said Valenzuela Paspas Permit system is the first digital platform in the country that allows faster and more efficient transactions.

"Valenzuela city is already way beyond other local government units. In fact, Valenzuela city has always been our champion in our best practice in terms of ease of doing business," she added.

Under the MOU, Valenzuela is tasked to create an Anti-Red Tape Unit whose function includes notifying ARTA about the formulation, modification, and repeal of regulations, verifying the availability and accuracy of the citizens’ charter.

The city government should also observe zero contact policy and prescribed processing time as well as to ensure that the client feedback mechanisms and client satisfaction surveys are properly working and functional.

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