Senator Christopher “Bong” Go has expressed his support to a proposed anti-red tape measure that seeks to give the President of the Philippines authority to simplify bureaucratic processes during national emergencies and, in effect, also improving ease of doing business as well as strengthening the fight against corruption.
During a public hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on Civil Service joint with the Committee on Justice on Tuesday, September 29, Go manifested his support for Senate Bill No. 1844, which 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.
“‘Yung three days to one week lang dapat – dapat po ay three days to one week lang po, ‘yun ang gusto niya mangyari. Kasi minsan inaabot ng ilang taon, ilang buwan,” Go said.
“’Yung pinapatulog po ‘yung mga papeles. […] That means there is inefficiency at best and corruption at worst,” he added.
Go also warned officials who will not comply with the government’s anti-red tape policy.
“Do not test this administration because we will see to it that you will be held accountable. Hihiyain talaga kayo ni Presidente,” he said.
“At hindi lang po hihiyain, yayariin po namin kayo. Kung paano yayariin, bahala na kayong umintindi,” he added.
In his speech, Go cited President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent call to improve ease of doing business in the country during his recent Talk to the People address.
“Suportado ko po ang sinabi ng Pangulo na kailangan natin ayusin ang burukrasya sa gobyerno hindi lamang upang i-improve ang ease of doing business sa bansa, kundi para labanan ang korapsyon sa gobyerno. Mas lalo itong kailangan ngayon to facilitate our economic recovery in this time of pandemic,” said Go.
During his Talk to the People address on September 28, Duterte noted the convoluted bureaucracy of state insurer PhilHealth as one of the causes of corruption in the agency and vowed to take radical steps to address the issue.
“I am ready to appear there in Congress and discuss with them… discuss how we can cut corruption, simplify the ease of doing business,” Duterte said.
Meanwhile, Go has also expressed his support to Duterte’s call to revisit laws and implementing rules and regulations.
“Kung kailangan lagyan ng ngipin para sundin, gawin natin. Kung kinakailangan, mas palawakin at paigtingin ang parusa sa mga lumalabag sa batas. Iisa lang naman ang layunin natin dito: ang maisaayos ang burukrasya at mapaganda ang serbisyo sa tao,” Go said.
“Totoo po ‘yun, na willing daw po siyang ma-summon sa Senado, sabi nga ni SP, ‘wag naman daw summon, but to be invited as one of the resource persons. Willing po ang ating Pangulo na imbitahan po siya sa Kongreso para makapagsalita gaano kalalim ang korapsyon sa ating bansa,” Go echoed.
Meanwhile, Go encouraged Filipinos and those in the private sector to “join the fight against corruption and help towards having a clean and efficient bureaucracy that provides the kind of service that Filipinos deserve.”
“Kung may mali, i-report po ninyo. Kung may nanlalamang, huwag ninyong palagpasin. Kung may nananamantala at nanloloko, i-reklamo po ninyo para mapanagot natin,” Go advised them.
“Together, let us demand accountability from those who have sworn to render public service with integrity and efficiency. Know your rights and demand the best, because you deserve nothing less. Isumbong ninyo po, magtulungan po tayo. Paano natin masugpo ito kung hindi tayo magtutulungan sa isa’t isa,” he ended.