“Do them and we will work together. Do not do them, we will part sooner than later,” were President Rodrigo Duterte’s strong words as he called on all government agencies to cut the tedious processing of permits and clearances.
During his inauguration last Thursday, President Duterte directed all of secretaries to reduce redundant requirements and processing time for applications in a department or agency. This directive is aligned with his ten point socio-economic agenda which covers increased competitiveness, adoption of current macroeconomic policies, tax reforms and rural development, among others.
Department agencies and heads are also called to refrain from changing and bending the rules of government contract and transactions, and to keep intact advocacy on transparency in government processes and negotiations.
“We were elated by this directive because it has really been a tough battle on how we can reduce red tape in government offices. Red tape burdens entrepreneurs, who are basically the drivers of our economy, and with efficient processing of their required business permits, they can allot more time in doing business,” says Happy Feraren, co-founder of Bantay PH.
Moreover, with the impending policy, the Philippines can improve its ranking in World Bank’s ease of doing business report. The Philippines ranked 103rd out of 189 countries surveyed in 2015.
Bantay PH, a movement of youth volunteers whose primary goal is to uplift the standard of government service in the country, is at the forefront of efforts to curb red tape, which is the precursor of corruption.
“We studied red tape implementation in the past years, and we know that it is a matter of good governance. It should be everyone’s responsibility as much as the government’s,” Happy said. “A lot of us do not know about our rights as clients of government. Bantay PH wants the public to understand that we are entitled to efficient service from the government, but that red tape will never be eradicated without action from us, the citizens,” she stressed.
Happy wants the general public to know that Bantay PH is here to promote solutions, specifically, what citizens can do to improve government services. “We would like the public to take a more proactive stand against red tape and corruption, knowing that the development of our country rests on how well good governance is implemented,” she explained.
“We really look forward to this and we are one with the incoming government towards a more efficient bureaucracy. Moreover, we will continue to be watchful and vigilant towards such issues, especially with this incoming leadership,” Happy said.
Bantay PH is composed of young, passionate individuals who are bent on promoting good governance and eliminating corruption in government. They are looking for more volunteers who can help them in this endeavour.
For more information, you may visit their website at www.bantay.ph.