Do them and we will work together. Do not do them, we will part sooner than later -- President Duterte
President Duterte has again reminded all public offices: cut red tape in all official transactions.
What is this thing called red tape?
Red tape is a colloquial term for bureaucratic practice of hair splitting or foot dragging. Red tape got its name from the color of the ribbon used in tying voluminous government documents.
Simply defined, red tape means going through a lot of official forms and procedures before something is accomplished.
An example of red tape is when you have to fill out annoying forms just to get a driver’s license, applying for a loan with the SSS, GSIS, Pag-Ibig or getting a copy of your birth certificate from the NSO, now called the Philippine Statistics Authority. Worse, if you are advised to return the next day to follow-up your papers.
And here’s the worst: returning the next day, you are again told to wait for your papers, only to be told later in the day that your application still lack some more supporting documents, or you are simply informed that your application has been disapproved, period.
One classic example of how the government unfairly treat ordinary taxpayers could be the issuance of “return slips”, a practice common in the offices of Landbank, GSIS, NSA, Pag-Ibig, Philhealth, DENR, NCIP, DPWH, DepEd and so many other agencies of government.
There was even a time when people seeking for security papers (Secpa) from the former NSO would camp out outside of its Gusa offices just to be accommodated first the following day.
Let’s see if that marching order of President Duterte will be effected (read: followed) by people in government so accustomed of dillydallying at the taxpayers’ expense.
If President Duterte has to be followed, he wants to end the long lines in all frontline services, expedite the issuance of driver’s licenses, licensed plates, passports and other public documents necessary for people to do their work and conduct business.
Undoubtedly, this is an awful public service which the government is infamous for. Red tape breeds a deep culture of corruption and inertia that is hard to eliminate. It is even addictive, more than taking up the illegal pill that is shabu.
President Duterte plans to push for the fast-tracking of business permit applications and clearances, a campaign promise aimed at eliminating corruption and the barriers for small and medium businesses to prosper.
The President is also studying the possibility of crowd-sourcing the best ideas for red tape reduction similar to what is being done by the European Commission.
He will soon hold, we were told, a competition aimed at identifying innovative suggestions for reducing unnecessary bureaucracy stemming from European law.
The process of real change is in progress, and we are going to see (and feel) more of the positive changes ahead of 2019 and beyond how the present dispensation under Duterte’s watch could be able to serve the people whom he promised to serve --- hook, line and sinker. (firstname.lastname@example.org)