27 Feb 2020
PHILIPPINES: All Pending Commercial Applications to be Approved by 7 March
All duly-completed applications lodged with any government agency, whether at the local or national level, will be considered automatically approved as of 7 March this year. This directive, as issued by the country’s Anti-Red Tape Authority, is in line with the recently-issued Memorandum Circular 2020-02 and is intended to reduce the level of corruption among civil servants. It is also seen as a key means of removing bureaucratic impediments to establishing new businesses, including anything that could delay the issue of required licences or permits.
The change is also intended the enforce the country’s Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act (2018), which specifies that simple licence applications should be processed within three days, more complex ones with seven days and even those of a highly-technical nature within 20 days. As a result, it has now been made mandatory for government agencies to conduct a review of their received applications and ensure compliance with the directive.
The legislation also specifies that government officials shown to be responsible for delaying the processing of applications could be fined and/or prosecuted. It is additionally hoped that the measures will improve the country’s ranking on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index.