Duterte vows to sign anti-Red tape EO

Alexis Romero - Philstar.com
Duterte vows to sign anti-Red tape EO
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech following the oath-taking ceremony of his son, Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte, at the Sangguniang Panlungsod in Davao City on June 21, 2019.
Presidential photo / Joey Dalumpines

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte announced a plan to issue an executive order (EO) on red tape more than a year after he issued a memorandum requiring government entities to all public requests and concerns within 15 days. 

Speaking during the oath taking of local officials in Davao City last Friday, Duterte stressed he would not allow government offices to prolong processes to extort money. 

"We cannot hope to rise. For every table in the government, be it in the local or in the national, once the papers are submitted...it’s either they delay it (or) they 
repeatedly ask the people to come back until the money is given. Plain extortion. That's how it is. Permits, certificates of whatever. It happens in Manila, national government, even here," the president said. 

"I’m leaving for Thailand to attend the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). When I return, I will just write an executive order," he added. 

Duterte left for Bangkok last Friday for the regional meet. 

In May 2018, Duterte issued Memorandum Circular No. 44 requiring government entities to respond to all public requests and concerns within 15 days. The memorandum seeks to fast-track government transactions and address red tape. 

The memorandum covered front line services, which was defined as "process or transaction between clients and government offices or agencies involving applications for any privilege, right, permit, reward, license, concession, or for any modification, renewal or extension of the enumerated applications and/or requests which are acted upon in the ordinary course of business of the agency or office concerned.”

Duterte stressed that government offices should issue clear requirements with regard to public requests. 

"When people go to you, it has to be in connection with your duties. And then you give them a paper containing a list of documents he has to produce. And if there’s any correction, they should be allowed to provide their address or a cellphone number where they can be called to submit a more detailed or a corrected (document)," he said. 

"But never, never tell them you will do it tomorrow...And even NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority), not now. Although there is a slight delay because of a policy," he added.

Duterte said there are projects involving the construction of airports but he could not act on it at the moment "because of some important policies as yet to be determined." 

"For all the others, the roads and airports, we are okay," he added. 

Duterte said he would give officials a limited time to process papers. He said the extension of the processing time would depend on how government offices justified the delay. 

"That is the only way to improve things as they are now. But we can still do it more," he said. 

"I will be very strict and if I have to fire people I will do it, friends or foe."



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