Saturday, December 2, 2023

Government To Expedite Processing Of Infra Flagship Projects


Government To Expedite Processing Of Infra Flagship Projects

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The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) on Thursday approved several high-impact initiatives, which include expediting the processing of infrastructure flagship projects (IFPs) and the reconstitution of the NEDA Board.

In a briefing, NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the NEDA Board chaired by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. confirmed the proposed Executive Order that will expedite the processing of licenses, clearances, permits, certifications and authorizations for the IFPs.

“The primary goal of this proposed EO is to minimize, if not eliminate, delays in the implementation of IFPs. This EO will require all government offices, agencies, and instrumentalities, including LGUs (local government units), to streamline the standard procedure and requirements for the IFPs,” he said.

Balisacan said the simplified requirements will be applicable to both pending and new applications within the NEDA Board-approved list of IFPs, as well as any additions to the IFP list.

The EO will also facilitate the electronic application submissions to the concerned agencies and LGUs, including the payments and issuance of receipts.

It also directs national government agencies to automate and computerize their databases, and mandates LGUs to establish business one-stop shops and to coordinate with the Department of Information and Communications Technology to adopt interoperable information and communications technology platforms.

“In line with this, the Anti-Red Tape Authority, or ARTA, in coordination with NEDA, shall establish a reporting framework to track agencies’ compliance,” Balisacan said.

Balisacan further said the NEDA Board also approved the reconstitution of the NEDA Board Committee on Infrastructure (INFRACOM) to include the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the DICT as members of the committee.

The NEDA Board also confirmed the overall principles and general recommendations for the proposed national government-LGU cost-sharing schemes for financing infrastructure projects.

“This aims to delineate the roles of the national government and the LGUs, particularly in resource-poor areas, or where resources may be needed to carry out the devolved functions and shared between the national government and LGUs,” Balisacan said.

He said the NEDA Board also endorsed the proposal to reduce tariffs on gypsum and anhydrite from 3 to zero percent.

These raw materials which are not produced locally are used in the production of plasterboard and cement.

“With the reduction in tariffs, we anticipate a decrease in production costs and an improvement in the industry’s competitiveness as we ramp up our infrastructure drive,” Balisacan said.


Common Legislative Agenda (CLA)

In a separate statement late Thursday, the NEDA announced that the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) included 11 additional bills to the CLA of the 19th Congress to further advance the attainment of the social and economic transformation agenda.

The LEDAC, chaired by President Marcos, met on Wednesday and adopted the 11 priority bills to help achieve the development targets for government efficiency, national defense and infrastructure development.

These include the amendments to Government Procurement Reform Act; Excise Tax on Single-Use Plastics; Amendments to the Cooperative Code; Amendments to the Fisheries Code; New Government Auditing Code; VAT (value-added tax) on Digital Services; Rationalization of the Mining Fiscal Regime; Philippine Defense Industry Development Act; Philippine Maritime Zones Act; Open Access in Data Transmission Act; and Amendments to the Right-of-Way Act.

“The timely passage of these priority bills will bring us closer to building a prosperous, inclusive, and resilient society for Filipinos,” Balisacan said. (PNA)

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