Bill filed giving Duterte power to expedite issuance of permits

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    SENATE leaders have filed a measure seeking to authorize President Duterte to expedite the issuance of national and local permits and licenses during national emergencies.

    Senate Bill 1844 aims to authorize the President “to suspend the requirements for national and local permits, licenses and certifications, and to streamline and expedite the process for the issuance thereof—notwithstanding any law, decree, order or ordinance to the contrary.”

    The bill was filed last Tuesday by Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senate president pro tempore Ralph Recto, majority leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, minority leader Franklin Drilon, and Sen. Panfilo Lacson.

    The bill was filed a week after President Duterte met with Congress leaders urging them to craft measures to further ease business doing in the country.

    “While this may be a small step, it surely can create a significant impact on all enterprises. Likewise, this move could ease the already heavy burden of the businesses that were heavily hit and continuously being beaten by the gargantuan effects of the pandemic,” the senators said.

    Under the bill, the President shall have the authority to accelerate and streamline the regulatory process for new and pending applications for permits, licenses, clearances, certifications or authorizations, including fixing or shortening the periods provided for under existing laws, regulations, issuances, and ordinances.

    The President will also be allowed to suspend or waive the requirements in securing permits, licenses, clearances, certifications or authorizations.

    The President shall also have the authority to suspend or remove, upon the determination of a competent body, any government official or employee contrary to the intent of the law.