ARTA vows faster strategic investments flow in EO 18


THE Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) said it is “all geared up” for the full implementation of Executive Order (EO) No. 18, a measure meant to fast-track and streamline processes for strategic investments.

“ARTA is all geared up for the full implementation of EO No. 18 to improve ease of doing business in the country and to promote economic development,” ARTA Secretary Ernesto V. Perez said in a statement on Monday.

The EO, signed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on February 23, 2023, was launched last July 13 in Pasay City.

The country’s anti-red tape watchdog said it is “confident” that the measure will help the Philippines achieve its goal of becoming a “top investment destination in the region.”

Perez stressed, “We are ready to take on the job of promoting foreign direct investments and streamlining the government approval and registration processes for strategic investments.”

ARTA bared its mission under EO No. 18. To ensure that government processes are efficient, effective, and accessible to all, it noted, “a timeline of 3-7-20 is imposed to the implementation of EO No. 18 to secure that all simple transactions are responded in three working days, while complex transactions are responded within seven working days, and highly technical transactions are responded by 20 working days.”

Moving forward, Perez said, “We are committed to working with the DTI, the BOI, and other stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of EO No. 18. We believe that this EO will help us attract more foreign direct investments and create jobs for our countrymen.”

Under Section 10 of EO No. 18 (series of 2023), the anti-red tape watchdog is assigned as a member of the Technical Working Group (TWG) which shall act on complaints and take appropriate actions, consistent with its respective mandate, against third-party business consultants engaged by foreign and local investors who act in violation of Republic Act No. 9485, also known as the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007, as amended.

ARTA, created under Republic Act No. 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 (EODB Law), is tasked with streamlining and digitalizing all government processes to reduce red tape and promote ease of doing business in the country.

According to the Board of Investments (BOI), EO 18 is a government-wide response to enhance the ease of doing business
in the country by “expediting, streamlining and automating” government processes for
strategic investments.

“Its outstanding feature is the provision for simultaneous processing of applications whereby National Government Agencies [NGAs] and Local Government Units [LGUs] that receive applications for permits and licenses are mandated to process the same with the presumption that the relevant documents from other agencies have already been issued and where the applicant firm shall execute an affidavit of undertaking that it has secured the relevant documents from specific NGAs or LGUs and that it shall submit the complete documentary requirements within 30 working days,” BOI said in a statement on Thursday.

The BOI is the single point of entry for all projects qualified as Strategic Investments, EO 18 noted.