Press Release
January 5, 2021

Bong Go welcomes signing of law to expedite processing of permits, licenses and certifications during national emergency

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go lauded the signing of Republic Act 11517, a law authorizing the President of the Philippines to expedite the processing of permits, licenses, clearances, authorizations and certifications in times of national emergency.

"In line with our goal to cut red tape, curb corruption, and streamline government processes, especially in times of national emergencies, I laud the signing of this law," he said. The Senator is a co-author and co-sponsor of the measure.

"This will definitely hasten the process and efficiently amplify government services even in times of crisis and national emergencies, such as calamities and unforeseen incidents, including this coronavirus disease pandemic," he added.

The law is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 1844, sponsored by Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri and principally authored by Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senators Ralph Recto, Zubiri, Franklin Drilon and Panfilo Lacson, and House Bill No. 7884, sponsored by Representatives Tyrone Agabas and authored by several members of the Lower House, led by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez.

The Senate version was also co-authored by Senators Ramon Bong Revilla Jr., Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao, Joel Villanueva, Manuel "Lito" Lapid, Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa, Richard Gordon, Sonny Angara, Sherwin Gatchalian, Nancy Binay and Grace Poe.

RA 11517 seeks to grant the President the authority to "accelerate and streamline regulatory processes and procedures for new and pending applications and renewals of permits, licenses, clearances and certifications or authorizations, including fixing or shortening the periods provided for under existing laws, regulations, issuances, and ordinances."

The law will also be able to suspend or waive the requirements in securing these documents. It will also prescribe to be permanent the streamlined regulatory processes and procedures, and the suspension or waiving of requirements in securing such documents in consultation or recommendation of the affected government agencies.

"Hindi dapat pahirapan ang mga Pilipino na kumuha ng serbisyo mula sa gobyerno. Lalo na sa panahon ng krisis, dapat sikapin nating pabilisin at mas madali ang mga transaksyon sa gobyerno," he said.

While this law states that this will only take in effect when there is a national emergency, Go emphasized that cutting red tape, streamlining services, and making government more responsive to the changing times must be a permanent solution to improve public service delivery and curb corruption.

"Hindi kami titigil ni Pangulong Duterte na labanan ang korapsyon sa gobyerno at gawing mas maayos ang serbisyong dapat makuha ng taumbayan," Go said.

"Patuloy rin ang pagsuspinde at pagtanggal ng mga korap at mga hindi ginagampanan ang kanilang tungkulin, lalo na sa panahon ng krisis," he added.

Go then highlighted the need to maximize information and communication technologies to innovate further how government transacts with its constituents through the adoption of E-governance.

"We need to prioritize digitalization of public service delivery given that we have the proper tools and technology already available," Go said in previous statements.

Go filed last July 2020 SB 1738 or the E-Governance Act of 2020 which mandates the government to establish an integrated, interconnected, and inter-operable information and resource-sharing and communications network. This is also included in the priority measures of the Duterte Administration as mentioned by the President in his most recent State of the Nation Address.

"As we transition to the new normal, the transition to e-governance becomes crucial, particularly the digitalizing of government processes. We should adopt more efficient, responsive and modern ways of transacting with our citizens. This will effectively make the government more in tune with the changing times," he added.

The Senator is also pushing for the passage of the E-Governance bill to eliminate corruption, reduce red tape, enhance transparency and improve the delivery of services to Filipinos. Moreover, Go said that such bill will enable the country to create long-term plans on the nation's road to recovery and build a sustainable future.

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