Secretary Jeremiah B. Belgica, Director General of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), led the launch of the agency’s 2nd ARTAmbayan Outpost at Matnog Port in Sorsogon City, February 16, Wednesday afternoon.
The ARTAmbayan Outpost is an avenue where the public can relay their concerns on fixing and other forms of red tape.
It aims to provide quick on-site assistance for those who have limited access to technology or the internet.
The outpost will also serve as a deterrent against fixers and other violators of Republic Act No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.
This came after ARTA received complaints that the port was heavily congested, leading to proliferation of extortion activities.
The Authority has conducted meetings and hearings with members of the private sector, various national government agencies and local government units (LGUs) to address the issues surrounding Matnog Port.
It has also intensified its monitoring operations and investigations on the ground.
Prior to the launch, ARTA Sec. Belgica, together with Undersecretary Carlos F. Quita, Undersecretary Ernesto V. Perez, and Undersecretary Eduardo V. Bringas, inspected the one-stop shop at Tagabisay Checkpoint at Matnog Port.
They also engaged stakeholders in a discussion on how to cut red tape in the said port, which is logistically vital as it connects Luzon and Visayas and serves as a “funnel” to Mindanao.
In his speech, ARTA Sec. Belgica reminded the public the problem of red tape and corruption cannot be solved by a single agency and requires a whole-of-nation approach.
“Ang problema po ng korapsyon at red tape sa atin pong bansa, sa ating bayan, ay hindi pang-lokal na problema lamang. This is a multi-sector, multi-agency, multi-dimensional problem,” he said.
“Ito pong maliit na kubol na inilulunsad natin ngayon, sa tulong po ng mga kasamahan natin sa taumbayan, ay naririto po bilang isang paalala sa bawat isa sa atin… na ang laban po sa red tape at korapsyon ay hindi po lamang nagsisimula at nagtatapos sa gobyerno kung wala naman pong itong tulong at pagsaklolo sa taumbayan,” he added.
The ARTAmbayan Outpost in Matnog Port will be manned by trained volunteers of the agency.
The flagship ARTAmbayan Outpost was launched along Magalang Street at Barangay Pinyahan, Quezon City on 9 November 2021.
It aims to strengthen the Authority’s capacity and making its services more accessible to the public when it comes to concerns and complaints handling.
More ARTAmbayan outposts in other fixer-prone areas in the country will also be launched.