Dismayed with the “laggard quality of civil service,” President Duterte has vowed to slap complaints against officials before the Office of the Ombudsman if they cannot explain why government transactions took more than three days.
According to the President, the processing of applications for permits and other documents should be done in three days to a week, but not more than a month.
“If it is more than three days, explain to me in writing why it took you more than three days or else I will file — diretso na ako sa Ombudsman (I will go straight to the Ombudsman).. I will charge you for negligence or talagang tamad (or you’re really lazy and) not doing your duty,” he said during his televised address to the nation Monday night.
Duterte, who has deplored red tape and corruption in the bureaucracy, said he was determined to hasten government transactions in his remaining years in office.
“At least, I have two years to make things faster. I need not see any success of the project because it has been expedited. I only want to see things moving. That is enough for me,” he said.
Duterte has expressed disappointment over the delays in government transactions despite repeated appeals to promote the ease of doing business in the country. He bewailed that the nation tolerated such poor service, which he claims has perpetuated the alleged “indolence” of some public servants.
“It’s very sad that this country has been, you know, allowing this practice of delays and promoting the laggard quality of our civil service. Totoo ‘yan eh (That’s true),” he said.
“Bakit pinayagan itong ganito na tag-two months? (Why was the two month-delay tolerated?) And nobody was really taking notice of it or raising a howl about these things na ano, kaya nasanay ang mga buang (so these fools are used to it) so they just sit there nonchalant about what would be the effect of their indolence to the overall picture of governance. Kaya naalala ko, bakit hindi nila naisipan ito? (I remember why didn’t they think of it?) Why would they allow three months, six months, four years?),” he asked.
Duterte recalled that he previously asked some Cabinet members to leave over sluggish work. “Eh, may ibang sa Cabinet I had to ask them to leave because despite my pleadings, almost begging everybody to do it faster, nangyayari palang ‘yun. And why would they allow, for example, like one month when it can be done in one week, three days?” he said.
While he endorsed a three-day rule, Duterte took pride that his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, wanted government transactions completed in a day. “Inday, my daughter, has also followed it with more vigor and vitality. She has shortened it to one day. Ako naman sa Davao three days talaga (In Davao, I wanted three days),” he said.
Duterte made the remarks after Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año gave an update on the approval of permits applied for by telecommunication firms for the establishment of their towers and facilities.
Año, in the meeting with the President, said local officials have approved 1,171 telco permits in the past week while 428 applications are still pending.
He also said telcos no longer have any reason to complain about having difficulty since the new Bayanihan 2 law allows the “automatic rollout” of telco facilities. “Ni-waive na po lahat ng mga requirements dito except building permit and night clearance permit (The requirements have been waived except for building permit and night clearance permit),” he said.
The “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act” allows the three-year suspension of the application of many permits required to build its towers and other facilities.
Senator Christopher Go, who was also present in the meeting, told Duterte about the pending bill authorizing the President to hasten the issuance of permits, licenses, and certificates during times of emergencies.
The President’s former aide said the bill “seeks to authorize the President during times of national emergency to suspend the requirements for national and local permits, licenses, and certifications, and to streamline and expedite the processing for the issuance of the same.”