Ensuring unimpeded delivery of agricultural products – Manila Bulletin

The Anti-Bureaucracy Authority (ARTA) is set to meet with different agencies to respond to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s call to ensure the delivery of agricultural products is not hampered.

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The officer in charge of ARTA, Undersecretary Ernesto Perez, made the announcement after Marcos ordered government agencies to respond to complaints from agricultural transporters and freight forwarders about policies and checkpoints imposed by local government units (LGUs).

In a statement, Perez said he supported Marcos’ call because of the growing demand for efficient transportation of goods and reduction in the price of essential goods and necessities.

“It is more crucial than ever to eliminate unnecessary and burdensome regulations,” he said.

“We fully support the President’s directive and the Authority looks forward to helping agencies streamline their processes to ensure a smooth and efficient flow of goods,” he added.

ARTA had initially set the date for August 24. However, it was postponed following the cancellation of work on Wednesday due to Typhoon Florita. The agency has yet to release the list of people who will attend the meeting to discuss related issues, concerns and solutions.

However, prior to this, ARTA has already begun to implement anti-bureaucracy and streamlining solutions through its National Effort Program for Harmonization of Effective Measures of Interdependent Agencies (NEHEMIA), focusing on logistics as one of its priority sectors.

In 2020, ARTA, in collaboration with the Bureau of Customs (BOC), the Ports Authority of the Philippines (PPA), and the Department of Commerce and Industry (DTI), issued JMC No. 2020-01 , which mandates the use of online platforms for the processing and payment of import and export transactions, permits, customs clearance, port passes, port dues and fees related to cargo handling.

The Authority, in conjunction with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Finance (DOF), has also issued Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2021-01, which prohibits LGUs collect illegal fees and taxes for the transportation of goods.

In addition, this year ARTA launched the Unified Logistics Pass (ULP). This was done in collaboration with DILG, Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Philippine Economic Zone and Authority (PEZA), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Clark Development Corporation (CDC), Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and other key agencies.

The ULP is a unified Quick Response (QR) code that facilitates the unhindered movement of rental trucks delivering goods and essentials. It aims to eliminate the variable and separate passage stickers required by economic zones, ports and LGUs to allow easier movement and relax port entry restrictions for trucks.

On June 28, ARTA handed over the ULP to the LTFRB to support the continued development of the system, as a key implementing agency and truck regulator.

“Once fully implemented, the ULP will not only benefit the logistics industry but also Filipinos. With regulated fees and policies, this will have a positive effect on the cost of logistics, lowering the market price of goods,” Perez said.

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Amalia H. Mercado