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Thursday, April 18, 2024

ARTA bares red tape busters for logistics sector

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THE Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) launched on Tuesday reforms for the logistics and supply chain sector.

Among the reforms was the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) on addressing the port congestion in Matnog, Sorsogon.

According to ARTA Director General Ernesto V. Perez, the purpose of the said JMC is to “reduce congestion, particularly in the queuing, marshalling, loading, and embarkation of passengers and rolling cargoes.”

Another objective of the circular, he said, is to ensure the efficient delivery of government services in the Port of Matnog and address rampant fixing activities in the immediate vicinity of the Port of Matnog.

As part of addressing the congestion in the said port, the anti-red tape watchdog bared some of the salient features of the JMC, including streamlining and automating processes through a one-stop shop (OSS).

ARTA said this OSS will include an “online portal for the stakeholders to enable advance reservation and payment for a ticket in advance of their arrival at the port.” The Authority said the payment shall be made through the online portal.

As for the bundling of fees, ARTA said “no separate payments need be made, as the price of the ticket shall already be inclusive of all relevant fees such as the Roll-on/Roll-off (RORO) Terminal Fee, Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) fee, Local Government Unit (LGU) fees, and other related processes.”

Under the OSS, ARTA said there is also “the implementation of a single window in relation to the queuing and pre-marshalling procedures and other related verification and confirmatory processes.”

According to ARTA, this JMC applies to all “responsible” officers of ARTA, Department of Transportation (DOTr), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA),  Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Philippine National Police (PNP), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), the Provincial Government of Sorsogon, and the Municipal Government of Matnog. Meanwhile, the anti-red tape watchdog on Tuesday also presented the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) addressing the Philippine Shipping Lines concerns.

The ARTA, together with partner agencies including the Board of Investments (BOI), Department of Transportation (DOTr), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Department of Finance (DOF), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), agreed to resolve the ongoing concerns in the Shipping Lines Industry.

Among the salient features of the agreement is the creation of a Technical Working Group for: domestic and international shipping to oversee ongoing concerns.

Another salient feature, ARTA said, is to issue a JMC with the primary objective of: prescribing a streamlined or integrated process and requirements for the application of required clearances through the creation or establishment of a Business One-Stop Shop (BOSS) for a more efficient process of securing these clearances; and, reducing the operational costs for both shipping lines, among others.

ARTA said both “the MOA and JMC intend to strengthen the competitiveness of the shipping lines industry by avoiding costs due to unnecessary delays and other inefficient government services.”

ARTA also listed the Unified Logistics Pass (ULP) among the reforms for the logistics and supply chain sector. The ULP’s pilot implementation was launched in January 2022.

According to ARTA, the ULP is a unified Quick Response (QR) code that will facilitate the unhampered movement of trucks for hire that deliver basic goods and necessities across the country.

In January, ARTA said in a statement that the ULP aims to “eliminate the varying and separate pass-through stickers being required by economic zones, ports, and LGUs to allow easier movement and ease port-entry restrictions for trucks.”

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