THE NATIONAL Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board has given the go signal for an executive order (EO) that will expedite the processing of requirements for flagship infrastructure projects, Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said.
At a Palace briefing on Thursday, Mr. Balisacan said the order would “enable the expeditious processing of licenses, clearances, permits, certifications and authorizations for the IFP (infrastructure flagship projects).”
“The primary goal of this proposed EO is to minimize if not eliminate delays in the implementation of IFPs,” he said.
Mr. Balisacan said the Office of the Executive Secretary would still have to check the draft EO for “technicalities,” but he expects it to be issued “very soon.”
Under the order, all government agencies and concerned offices would be required to streamline the procedures and requirements for the flagship projects.
“The simplified requirements will be applicable to both pending and new applications within the NEDA Board approved list of IFPs, as well as any additions to the updated IFP list,” he added.
There are 197 approved flagship projects worth P8.71 trillion. By the end of this year, 12 of these are expected to be completed.
The order would also promote the automation of databases for more efficient data-sharing among agencies, as well as facilitate electronic application submissions.
Meanwhile, Mr. Balisacan said the NEDA Board approved the inclusion of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to the NEDA Board Committee on Infrastructure as integral members.
The NEDA Board also confirmed the updated framework for the proposed National Government-Local Government Unit cost-sharing schemes for infrastructure projects.
“This aims to delineate the roles of the National Government and the LGUs, particularly in resource-poor areas or where resources may be needed to carry out the devolved functions and shared between the National Government and LGUs,” Mr. Balisacan said.
Th NEDA Board also endorsed the proposal to cut tariffs on gypsum and anhydrite, inputs commonly used for construction materials, to 0% from 3%.
“It is worth noting that natural gypsum and anhydrite are not produced locally. These raw materials are used in the production of plasterboard and cement, which are commonly used in construction,” Mr. Balisacan said.
“With the reduction in tariffs, we anticipate a decrease in production costs and an improvement in the industry’s competitiveness as we ramp up our infrastructure drive,” he added. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson