News & Updates

Executive Order No. 59 Streamlines Requirements for Infrastructure Flagship Projects

By Liam Calvin Joshua C. Lu


In a bid to expedite the development of the country’s Infrastructure Flagship Projects (“IFPs”), the President has promulgated Executive Order No. 59 (“EO 59”), which provides for the streamlining of the permitting process of IFPs. EO 59 reiterates certain provisions of Republic Act (“RA”) No. 9485, or the Anti-Red Tape Act, as amended.


The IFPs are a sub-list of priority projects identified by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board Committee on Infrastructure and the Investment Coordination Committee. The NEDA’s list of IFPs are based on the projects endorsed by each Implementing Agency subject to the NEDA’s criteria for qualifying as an IFP.


Streamlined Requirements


Under EO 59, identified IFPs are subject to streamlined requirements. In other words, no other national or local permit or clearance shall be required in the construction, installation, repair, operation, and/or maintenance of IFPs except for the following:


  1. Environmental Compliance Certificate/Certificate of Non-Coverage issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources;
  2. Building Permit/Occupational Permit/Certificate of Occupancy issued by the City/Municipal Building Official;
  3. Excavation Permit issued by the concerned LGU, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Department of Public Works and Highways, and/or the Bases Conversion and Development Authority; and
  4. Other requirements as mandated by the Constitution and existing laws (Section 3).


Moreover, all National Government Agencies (NGAs) and Local Government Units (LGUs) involved in the issuance of permits shall process the same with the presumption that relevant documents from other agencies have already been issued. The applicant shall instead execute an Affidavit of Undertaking, stating that it has secured all relevant documents from specific NGAs or LGUs and/or that it shall submit the complete documentary requirements within thirty (30) working days. The concerned agency shall then issue the corresponding permits or licenses, with an annotation that it shall be subject to the completion of requirements covered by the undertaking (Section 5).


All covered applications not acted upon within the prescribed period shall be deemed approved, provided that all documentary requirements have been submitted and all required fees have been paid. Similarly, if an NGA or LGU fails to act on an application or request for renewal of a permit relative to the implementation of IFPs within the prescribed processing period, the validity of said permit shall be deemed extended (Section 7).  




Parallel to this effort, EO 59 also calls for the digitization of government processes to speed up transactions.


Under EO 59, all NGAs and LGUs are directed to adopt a system for online and/or electronic submission and acceptance of applications for, and issuance of permits. Correspondingly, EO 59 compels NGAs and LGUs to accept electronic copies of documentary requirements needed for applications for licenses, clearances, permits, certifications or authorizations for IFPs, and recognize electronic or digital signatures, subject to the rules on recognition of electronic signatures under RA No. 7892, or the Electronic Commerce Act (Section 4).


In addition, to supplement over-the-counter payments, all NGAs are directed, and all LGUs are encouraged, to set up a payment gateway for acceptance of digital payments relative to applications for permits. NGAs and LGUs may provide alternative digital payment options through service agreements with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas-regulated private and/or public Payment System Providers or electronic Payment and Collection System Providers (Section 6).


Administrative Efficiency


To reduce red tape, all NGAs and LGUs shall set up or designate within their offices a “One-Stop Shop for IFPs,” which will provide frontline services to applicants who are securing permits for IFPs. The One-Stop Shop for IFPs shall not duplicate existing One-Stop Shops or One-Stop Action Centers established under other laws, but NGAs and LGUs may opt to integrate this One-Stop Shop for IFPs into their existing One-Stop Shops or Action Centers. An Account Officer, who shall serve as the focal person for facilitating the permits and licenses for IFPs, and coordinating with other permitting and licensing agencies or offices, shall be designated in every One-Stop Shop for IFPs (Section 8).


Finally, to ensure seamless data and information sharing among concerned departments, offices, and agencies, all NGAs are charged with the automation and computerization of their databases. Meanwhile, LGUs, in coordination with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), are encouraged to adopt the electronic-LGU (eLGU) system or any similar program developed and maintained by the DICT, and ensure the interoperability of their respective information and communications technology platforms for the expedited processing of licenses and permits (Section 9).