Duterte orders speedy review, approval of water infrastructure projects
President Rodrigo Duterte has issued an administrative order expediting the review and approval process of infrastructure flagship projects on water security.
AO No. 32, which Duterte issued on August 26, noted the persistent low water levels in existing reservoir especially those servicing Metro Manila, along with increasing demand and competing use over limited water supply.
With this, it said there is a need for the development of new water resources, and acceleration of water infrastructure development as an overarching strategy in pursuit of water security and as an important approach in dealing with the challenges of climate change through innovative interventions and technologies.
Under the AO, Duterte directed all agencies to give priority to complete reviews and approvals of infrastructure flagship projects on water security, "strictly within the processing time and deadline established by law."
"If a government office or agency fails to approve or disapprove an original application or request for issuance of license, clearance, permit, certification or authorization within the prescribed processing time, where all the required documents have been submitted and fees paid, an no reason or explanation in writing was approved therefor, the said application or request shall be deemed approved," the AO read.
Duterte directed the Presidential Adviser for Flagship Programs and Projects and the National Economic and Development Authority to coordinate with the head of the relevant issuing agency to establish ways to expedite the issuance of pertinent licenses, clearances, permits, certifications or authorizations.
The Anti-Red Tape Authority is tasked to monitor and evaluate the compliance of agencies with the law and issue notices of warning to erring and/or noncomplying government officials or employees.
The agencies concerned are given 20 working days from submission of complete requirements and every week thereafter to submit a written report to the PA-FPP and the NEDA, with copy furnished to ARTA, the status of the application, as well as issued encountered and the cause/s for delay or in action, with advice on the corrective measures that may be undertaken, as appropriate.
The Order shall take effect immediately. Celerina Monte/DMS