A unified quick response (QR) code for the logistics sector will be implemented in 2021 under the National Effort for the Harmonization of Efficient Measures of Inter-related Agencies (NEHEMIA) program of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA).
At the launch of the NEHEMIA program for the logistics sector on Tuesday, Oct. 20, ARTA deputy director-general Ernesto Perez said the unified QR code for land transport is inspired by the RapidPass System used by front-liners to pass through checkpoints.
For instance, the current system requires a delivery truck registered with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to submit requirements, register, and pay for pass-through stickers from different local government units (LGUs), and will do the same process in economic zones, port authority, and other LGUs for them to be allowed to enter and ply within their areas.
Under the NEHEMIA program for logistics, LTFRB will be the “root agency” that will process registration, payments, releasing of franchise, and unique QR code that will serve as a universal pass-through permit to enter localities, economic zones, and ports.
Perez said the proposed reforms that will be implemented include automation of application process with single application form, removal of notarization requirement for documents, allowing digital payments, and integration of sticker requirements into single Rapid Pass.
He said this will cut the current 209 steps to 56 steps, a 73-percent reduction on procedures for land transport. The period of processing will also be reduced by 87 percent.
“This will not only lessen the cost of transport. This will increase, improve, and give more employment opportunities. This will help our micro, small, and medium enterprises, comprising 99 percent of businesses. But of course, this will help in lessening the price of our basic commodities,” he added.
The NEHEMIA program aims to speed up processes in national government agencies (NGAs) and LGUs by streamlining and automating registration, payment, and issuance of licenses and permits.
The program targets to reduce time, costs, and requirements or procedures by 52 percent in five priority sectors including logistics, telecommunication, housing, food and pharmaceutical, and energy.
In his remarks, Department of Trade and Industry secretary Ramon Lopez said the NEHEMIA program can help achieve the target of lowering the share of logistics cost in operating cost to 15 percent.
Lopez said the country has one of the highest logistics costs in the region at 27 percent of the total operating cost.
“What we are trying to achieve is at least be better than Vietnam and Indonesia,” said Lopez, adding that the share of logistics cost in Vietnam is at 16 percent and Indonesia at 21 percent. — Kris Crismundo (PNA)