The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) formally launched on Thursday (July 1) the Philippine Good Regulatory Principles (PGRP), a set of guidelines and core principles on how to promote proportionate, consistent, accountable, and targeted regulations through effective dialogue between regulators and regulated entities.
These guidelines, the first of its kind in the country, are similar to and in alignment with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Good Regulatory Practices (GRP), and the United Kingdom Regulators’ Code.
The importance of good regulation cannot be underscored enough. Good regulation is a powerful tool to address market failures, influence behavior, and promote positive action. Effective regulation can be an enabler of growth, innovation, and productivity; protecting life, health, and the environment; and supporting long-term social and economic growth.
They shall serve as a guide document for regulatory agencies covered by Section 3 of Republic Act No. 11032 and its implementing rules and regulations, which include all government offices, inclusive of local government units, government-owned or -controlled corporations, and other government instrumentalities.
The PGRP, as a component of the National Policy on Regulatory Management (NPRMS), also aim to provide government agencies and instrumentalities under the aforementioned legal provision sufficient guidance on the development, implementation, and monitoring of policies, procedures, organizational values, behavioral, and service standards expected of government agencies on activities necessary to regulatory rule-making and delivery.
The formulation of the PGRP was a collaborative effort among the ARTA, UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), and the UK Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
This is part of a technical assistance program initiated by virtue of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on regulatory reform projects signed last February 4, 2020 between ARTA Secretary Jeremiah Belgica and British Ambassador Daniel Pruce under a joint action plan between the governments of the Philippines and the United Kingdom.
Along with the PGRP, the Ease of Doing Business and Anti-Red Tape (EODB-ART) Advisory Council approved and endorsed the roll-out of the Whole-of-Government (WOG) Reengineering Manual on government systems and procedures and the New Rules of Procedures on Digital Handling of Cases, to government agencies and local government units.
ARTA Undersecretary Ernesto V. Perez, CPA, deputy director-general for operations, facilitated the virtual launch of the PGRP together with representatives of the UK Government.
Citing the study of Derek Gill and Ponciano Intal, Jr., “Classification of Countries According to RMS Stages”, Perez said the Philippines may graduate from the starter stage to the enabled stage by the end of the year.
The ARTA undersecretary credited this to the creation of the PGRP, the ARTA’s conduct of regulatory impact assessment (RIA) trainings, and other reforms and initiatives.
“We’re very positive that, even this year, with all the initiatives, with all the reforms, programs that are being implemented by ARTA… all of these initiatives will come together, will contribute, will harmonize to ensure that the Philippines’ ranking will certainly improve,” he said.
“This will improve the way we deliver services to the people,” he added.
ARTA Director-General Secretary Jeremiah Belgica commended the ARTA for continuously conducting RIA trainings for government agencies even before the release of the PGRP.
“I have been anticipating this for quite a time now since I believe that the release of the PGRP is a landmark achievement, not only for this administration, for the Anti-Red Tape Authority, but for the Filipino people,” he said.
“Regulators without these good regulatory principles would be oppressive, could actually have the propensity to be oppressive without any principles or guidelines to go back to,” he added.
Leonina Morillo, head of the Prosperity Fund of the British Embassy in Manila, said the PGRP will “build the cornerstone of how good policies and how great collaborations bring lasting results.”
She added that the principles will be of immense help, not only to the government and business, but also to ordinary Filipinos.
“The importance of good regulation cannot be underscored enough. Good regulation is a powerful tool to address market failures, influence behavior, and promote positive action. Effective regulation can be an enabler of growth, innovation, and productivity; protecting life, health, and the environment; and supporting long-term social and economic growth.
“I’m filled with hope that we are enabling Filipino families across income strata to create better opportunities for their children,” Morillo said.
Perez said national government agencies and local government units will be directed to upload the PGRP in their websites and other platforms. They must also post a copy of the guidelines in a conspicuous place in their offices.
The ARTA will also monitor the offices’ compliance with the directive.