Philippines to join ASEAN Single Window in 2018
MANILA, Philippines — About 20 Philippine government agencies are expected to join by next year a regional online platform which seeks to facilitate trade among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Department of Finance said yesterday.
Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran, head of the DOF anti-red tape team, said the 20 state agencies would go online under the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) platform starting the first quarter of 2018.
According to Beltran, the ASW gateway is a regional initiative which aims to speed up cargo clearances, and promote economic integration by enabling the electronic exchange of border documents among the 10 ASEAN-member economies.
Beltran said the platform has been installed and is being tested this month.
Earlier, Beltran said the government would be connected to the ASW gateway through a Philippine online facility called the TradeNet, which would allow traders to apply for their import and export permits online.
Beltran said the country’s decision to adopt the TradeNet as vehicle for the country’s participation in the ASW would facilitate trade, heighten transparency in customs procedures and improve revenue collection.
He said the TradeNet is set to be fully operational before the end of the year.
Aside from TradeNet, the DOF said it is also using other digital tools to improve the ease of doing business in the country, one of which is the Philippine Business Data Bank.
The database would allow the online processing of business permits by local government units.
According to the DOF, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is set to hold a live demonstration of the data bank to LGUs on Nov. 28.
Beltran said the precursor to the PBDB, the Online Unified Business Permit Application Form, is being fine tuned to further simplify the process of applying for business permits, regardless of location.
Meanwhile, the DOF is seeking the modernization of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
President Duterte has vowed to crack down on red tape, and ordered the reduction of the processing time and removal of unnecessary or redundant requirements of government agencies.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez earlier said reducing red tape would enhance business and investment inflows and in turn, create more jobs and improve productivity.