Gov’t fast tracking transaction of permits for processed meat industry

MANILA — The Board of Investments (BOI) said Tuesday that the government has discussed with stakeholders in the processed meat industry the possible initiatives that would fast track the transaction of getting permits from public offices.

“Our objective is to improve in terms of efficiency and effectiveness the regulatory procedures of the processed meat industry, to deepen understanding of the regulatory environment considering the industry’s difficulty in complying with such requirements and to come up with recommendations to further improve the regulatory compliance without undermining the legal mandates of the regulators,” BOI Executive Director Ma. Corazon Halili-Dichosa said.

This is part of the efforts of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), as the lead agency crafting the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 or the EODB law, to consult stakeholders on their proposed solutions in addressing challenges in regulatory procedures.

All government offices have to comply with the “3-7-20 rule” of the EODB law, requiring an agency to complete simple transactions within three days, seven days for complex transactions, and 20 days for highly technical transactions.

It was noted that the processed meat industry is one of the sectors in which regulatory procedures take a number of days to be completed.

Businesses involved in meat manufacturing and sales of processed meat are required to secure certificate of meat inspection (COMI), shipping permit, license to operate, and certificate of product registration (CPR) from government agencies.

For instance, the issuance of license to operate takes about 91 days, while the CPR takes more or less 114 days.

Both National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) and Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) target to roll out an electronic filing for COMI and shipping permit, respectively, by January 2019.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also committed to streamline its requirements and improve information technology infrastructure to enhance its online system within the next two months.

Earlier, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said there are government agencies that find it difficult to complete some transactions under the “3-7-20 rule”.

But Lopez noted all of these agencies are finding their own ways to comply with the law and deliver fast government services to stakeholders. (PNA)

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