ARTA wants charges versus Tallado for sitting on sand permit application

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The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) has submitted a report recommending that the Ombudsman charge Camarines Norte Governor Edgardo Tallado for his unwarranted failure to act on a commercial sand and gravel permit application.

In its preliminary investigation report, ARTA said Tallado violated Section 21(d) and (e) of the Ease of Doing Business Act for not issuing a written notice of the disapproval of an application and not following the prescribed processing time.

The report arose from the complaint of Henry Zabala, who applied for the renewal of his commercial sand and gravel permit. The application was not acted upon for a year and Zabala was not notified why.

When ARTA intervened, Tallado reasoned out that the Provincial Mining and Regulatory Board (PMRB) on November 13, 2018 opposed the application based on a report that Zabala did not remit any amount to the government.

After seeking several documents from Tallado, ARTA issued an order of automatic approval in favor of Zabala, along with a sworn statement from him attesting to the complete submission of all requirements and payment of fees.

Even if Zabala’s application was technical in nature, ARTA said this would not justify the long inaction especially since the PMRB recommendation was already made last year.

“There is an indefinite period of time for the processing of an application for Commercial Sand and Gravel Permit since some of the procedures depend on the availability of the signatory,” ARTA stated in its report.

“As per ARTA’s findings, said the procedure cannot be countenanced as it leaves the applicant into quandary as to when such application should be approved,” it added.

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