Subsequent to the release of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) Memorandum Circular 2021-01, the TradeNet Project Management Office (TPMO) headed by Director Angelica I. Sarmiento, convened the General Consultative Meeting that was held last March 19, 2021 through an online virtual conference.

In this meeting, Deputy Director-General Ernesto Perez of ARTA, mentioned that the Memorandum is issued to provide guidelines on the mandatory onboarding of all the identified Trade Regulatory Government Agencies (TRGAs) to the TradeNet platform in order to simplify and harmonize the permitting and licensing processes concerning imports and exports.

Furthermore, Deputy Director-General Perez emphasized that the deadline for the mandatory integration and onboarding of the TRGAs to the TradeNet platform should be no later than the 10th week from the issuance of the said Memorandum. TRGA’s failure to comply with this Memorandum may be a ground for the filing of appropriate administrative sanctions.

Mr. Johrel Maximiano, Deputy Project Manager, then proceeded in discussing the team composition for the Agency Counterpart Team (ACT). He emphasized that the primary task of the ACTs is to ensure that the onboarding activity timeline is met. He also assured that the Trade Facilitation Officer (TFO) will lead the Trade Coordinating Team (TCT) in onboarding the assigned Agency wherein he/she will be the focal person from the TPMO’s end.

Ms. Glessel Casiño, Onboarding Manager reiterated that the remaining agencies will still have to comply and submit their requirements to the TPMO especially the list of names for their Agency Counterpart Teams (ACT) and the completion of the Readiness Assessment Survey to prepare them for their onboarding. She noted that most of the remaining agencies are Monitoring Agencies and Ecozones, while they have less activities compared to the regulating agencies, they may require enhancements to the system for monitoring and reports generation.

Ms. Casiño also mentioned that the TradeNet PMO already hired the additional TradeNet Staff in order to expedite the onboarding process. These TCT’s will directly coordinate with the ACT of the assigned agencies to give them instructions for their specific next steps and monitor their progress.

Lastly, Mr. Maximiano presented all the consolidated agreements identified in the meeting as follows:

  1. Agencies to send the initial onboarding document based on the checklist as their initial report within the week of March 22-26, 2021;
  2. Agencies to provide the names of Agency Coordinating Team members within the week of March 22-26, 2021; and
  3. TradeNet PMO to provide the final designation of TCT.