The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) filed a complaint against a barangay chairman in Caloocan City for his alleged inaction on a businessman’s request for a barangay clearance for more than a year.
In a statement, ARTA said it had filed a case against Chairman Jose Ramirez of Barangay 186, Zone 16 in Caloocan City before the Office of the Ombudsman on May 31 for failure to act on the request of a businessman named Franklin Fernandez for over a year now.
Based on ARTA’s endorsement of the complaint, Fernandez requested a barangay clearance at the barangay on January 17, 2020 as one of the requirements to renew his mayor’s permit.
ARTA said a certain “Gemma,” a staff of the barangay, told Fernandez to first secure a barangay business clearance and pay P1,000 for the barangay business tax. Fernandez argued that his business was not under the taxing power of the barangay, but the barangay staff remained firm.
The businessman also noted that there was no Citizen’s Charter indicating the additional requirements posted outside the barangay office, prompting him to write a letter to Ramirez to clarify the matter the following day. However, the chairman did not respond even after the deadline for the renewal of the Mayor’s Permit on January 20, 2020.
After the complainant complied with the additional requirements, Gemma said that his barangay clearance will be released on January 21, 2020.
Fernandez personally went to the barangay office on the said day only to be given his barangay business clearance, barangay business plate, and official receipt—none of which he requested for.
More than a year later, Fernandez has yet to be issued the barangay clearance or even a response to his letter from the barangay chairman.
ARTA said it has sent Ramirez a Notice to Explain and Order for Submission of Counter-Affidavit but has yet to receive a response from the barangay chairman.
ARTA recommended that Ramirez be held liable for the violation of the Ease of Doing Business Act, the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees; and the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
It likewise recommended that Ramirez be preventively suspended pending the investigation of his case.