The Department of Finance (DOF) together with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) will be testing an online platform for processing trade accreditations and permits this coming July.
The platform, dubbed as TradeNet, will connect 66 agencies and 10 economic zones in the Philippines that are involved in trade regulations, said DOF Undersecretary Gil Beltran in a report by Philippine Star.
With TradeNet, traders will be able to apply for their accreditation or permit online, enabling regulators to receive the request and provide feedback in real time. "To make it work, the importer will go to his computer [to apply before the application] goes to the import regulator. The regulator will then throw it to the BOC [Bureau of Customs], [before finally passing it] to the importer," Beltran illustrated.
The platform aims to cut the processing time for application of trade permit and accreditation to three to two days, or less. "We will reduce it to three days, then two days, until it eventually reaches only one hour," he added.
He also shared that the first agency to onboard the new system will be the Department of Agriculture as it is the most "complex". Thereafter, the order of agencies to be connected will depend on the revenue contribution of the commodities and number of documents processed annually.
If the pilot is successful, Beltran said the platform will be fully deployed in September, and will be connected to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) window by December this year.
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