- Duterte vows to eradicate red tape in government offices
- A harrowing experience told by an exasperated woman who was given a hard time over tax clearance caught the President’s attention
- The President ordered his staff to look into the matter and summon the lazy employees
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to finally end ‘red tape’ in public offices and punish lazy government employees after reading a complaint sent by an exasperated woman who was given a hard time getting a tax clearance.
The complaint was sent by one Rose Anne Bartolome to the Inquirer’s ‘Letters to the Editor’ where she recalled how she was given a runaround at a city hall over tax clearance procedures.
According to the website Politiko, Bartolome went to the city hall to sell a property to pay for her mother’s hospital bills. The letter-sender admitted she didn’t have the complete tax receipt for the property and sought the help of the city hall employees.
However, Bartolome claimed no one bothered to help her and decided to seek an advice from their boss. After waiting for several hours, she was told to just come back the next day because the ‘boss’ didn’t show up.
What irks Bartolome more is when a fixer approached her and offered to solve her problem in exchange for P5,000.
“That was when I blurted out the PI.’ (Who says only tough guys have the license to curse?) Needless to say, I never got any clearance to this day. We got the money from a friend who accepted a simple mortgage on the property without going through so much hassle,” Politiko has quoted Bartolome as saying in the letter.
The sender did not mention the name of the city hall or the employees, but the woman’s frustrations was enough to catch the attention of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Curtailing ‘red tape’
In his speech before the San Beda Law Alumni Association early this week, Duterte said Bartolome’s harrowing experience at the hands of these lazy government workers angered him and prompted him to order his staff to look into the matter.
“Sinabi ko sa staff: Hanapin ninyo ito. Kung anong opisina ‘to. Sabihin ninyo pinatawag ko sila dito. Kakasabi ko lang sa inaugural speech ko: You are paid to do your work,” said Duterte.
[I told my staff: Look for this. Find out which office is this. Tell them I that I summoned them here. I just said in my inaugural speech: You are paid to do your work].
“Kung gusto mo ng… hindi mo kaya ng gobyerno magbayad, e maghanap ka ng iba. Punta ka kay Ayala o kay Gokongwei. They’ll give you a better salary,” he added.
[If you want to… if the government salary isn’t enough for you, then look for other job. Go to the Ayalas or Gokongweis. They’ll give you better salary.]
The president also ordered his Cabinet to reduce the signing authority of government permits to 30 days by lessening the number of signatures needed for its approval.
“Now, if you cannot comply with it, then sorry. We part ways. That’s the only way to do it,” he said.
During his campaign, Duterte promised to curtail ‘red tape’ by implementing a 72-hour or 3-day deadline for each agencies to release documents applied for by the public.