SEIPI pushes automation of permits, licenses of controlled chemicals

By Edu Lopez

The Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Inc. (SEIPI) has reiterated its request to collaborate with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and government agencies in simplifying and automating the application for permits and licenses on controlled chemicals.

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“This is consistent with Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s mandate to streamline application process with government agencies to not more than three days,” it said.

In pushing for automation, SEIPI also pointed to the 2006 memorandum of understanding between the trade group and the PNP, Bureau of Customs (BOC), and Philippine Economic Zone Authority.

The agreement said that the PNP, BOC, PEZA, and SEIPI should work closely together towards the development and implementation of an automated system which the PNP can use for processing applications of economic zone export-producer enterprises, particularly those belonging to the semiconductor and electronic products sector.

The PNP is monitoring and controlling the importation of chemicals and other substances for the purpose of safe-guarding public safety and national security.

SEIPI highlighted some of the areas for cooperation, which include identifying the business model for the automation project.

It cited a study that could be undertaken of similar systems already in place such as the automated export documentation system and the value-added service provider model which the PNP automation project can be patterned.

SEIPI said a step-by-step process can be developed on the application process for each type of license and permit followed by the identification of the resources needed, cost of streamlining, and automating and the rollout of the automation program.

At the same time, the group has sought the establishment of a one-stop shop in order to avoid duplication of efforts between PNP and other agencies such as the Department of Natural Resources, Dangerous Drugs Board, and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
The PNP through the Explosives Management Division (EMD) of the Firearms and explosives Office (FEO) has welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with SEIPI.

The PNP is pursuing its own initiative to automate all of its units even as it has moved to establish the Regional Civil Security Units (RCSUs) which will serve as the one-stop shop for applicants.

In the meantime, a system has been developed by the EMD to expedite the application, approval and releasing of license and permits.

Starting in mid-2015, the manufacturing sector was subjected to strict PNP control of common industrial chemicals in the wake of terroristic attacks worldwide.

Companies had encountered difficulties in securing permits and licenses for substances commonly used in making goods that led to production delays, cancelled orders, and massive losses for the affected industries.

In response to the appeals from the business community, the government had issued temporary permits for controlled chemicals and extended validity.

The government also created a technical working group to look into ways to fast-track and digitize the application procedure in preparation for the end of the validity period of the temporary permits.

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