Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said the government needs to reinvent bureaucracy in order to effectively address the COVID-19 pandemic and corruption.
Lacson said the current bureaucracy should be reshaped to one that empowers the people and commits to doing more with less.
“As one nation, we must reinvent our bureaucracy – one that innovates and empowers its citizens, and commits to doing more with less. Make no mistake: our government is not just any family business, it is our nation’s business,” Lacson said in his speech before the Rotary Club of Parañaque North over the weekend.
“The first agenda is addressing the pandemic. We cannot see it ending soon. The second is addressing corruption, which has been on the top of my list ever since I started my public service—when you address corruption, you are halfway to solving the nation’s problems,” he added.
Lacson, who is gearing up for a presidential run in the May 2022 national elections, said it is high time the bureaucracy must do away with overregulation, which presents temptations to profit through intimidation and suppression.
“I believe it is time we should depart from the ‘more of the same’ mentality. It is time for the government to treat the business sector as partners instead of competitors,” he stressed.
The former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief also said it is high time that policies based on science, research and development be prioritized by the government.
More resources, he said, should go to research and development, which he noted only gets a miniscule 0.4 percent in the annual national budgets since 2016.
He also said digitization is key for the government to boost the economy and lessen opportunities for corruption. Digitization would also help minimize—if not eliminate—human intervention in government transactions, particularly revenue collection.
“With things as they are, I have no doubt whatsoever that with science and evidence-based policies and decisive leadership, we will eventually see the light at the end of the tunnel, where COVID-19 will no longer be a scare,” he said.