ARTA: Hedcor’s Business Permit in Bakun is automatically extended

The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) has directed the automatic renewal of Hedcor’s Business Permit in Bakun after finding the submission of requirements to be complete.

Prior to Hedcor’s Business Permit expiration on March 31, 2021, Hedcor made numerous attempts to tender payment and submit its application for renewal as early as January 2021. However, this was rejected by the Municipal Mayor and the Punong Barangays of Sinacbat and Poblacion.

In the official letters from the LGU representative, they state the  reason for the denial as conditioned on the imposition by the Bakun LGU of Hedcor’s agreement to a voluntary MOA for additional shares in revenue. ARTA found this condition as an additional requirement and not required by any law or even the Bakun LGU’s Citizen Charter.

ARTA stated that Bakun LGU “refused to issue or deny the issuance of a Barangay Clearance and Business Permit based on the letter responses of respondents requiring the complainant to execute a MOA as precondition for the issuance of the certifications and permit, which are not in their respective Citizen’s Charter is not and cannot be regarded as a justifiable reason precisely because this is illegal.”

The ARTA, in its order, said that the Bakun LGU, “did not deny the application but merely imposed a suspensive condition and that is the execution of a MOA. Requiring a MOA as a prerequisite for the issuance of clearances and permits which is not in the citizen’s charter is an imposition of an additional requirement. This is a clear violation of RA 11032. It also constitutes a violation of the illegal exaction or transaction under Chapter 3, Title Seven, Book II of the Revised Penal Code and R.A. 3019.”

With the aforementioned findings, ARTA has ordered the Bakun LGU to comply with the automatic approval provision of RA 11032, the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, and issue the necessary Barangay Clearances and Business Permit of Hedcor. ARTA has also ordered the LGU officials to explain in writing why administrative and criminal charges should not be filed against them. 

To recall, Hedcor has also sought guidance from the Department of Interior and Local Government – Cordillera Administrative Region (DILG-CAR).

Unanimous to ARTA findings, DILG-CAR said that, “The issuance of licenses or permits shall only be pursuant to law or ordinance and the municipal mayor is bereft of the authority to impose additional conditions on the issuance, renewal, or continued validity of a business permit other than what the law and/or ordinance provides.”

“Insofar as the issuance of the barangay clearance is concerned, again, we find no legal basis for requiring the execution of the MOA as a prerequisite for the issuance of such clearance. There being none, the barangay has no authority to require more than what the law, its Citizen’s Charter, or its ordinance provides,” further stated by DILG-CAR. ###