Duterte wants use of logbook to monitor gov’t transactions

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President Rodrigo Duterte (Presidential Photo)

MANILA – In a bid to cut bureaucratic red tape in government, President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday broached the idea of using a logbook to record transactions in all state departments and offices.

During the situation briefing on the effects of the Taal Volcano’s eruption, Duterte said he would make it mandatory for all government offices to use logbooks so he can monitor the processing of paperwork in the public sector.

“I will require every department, all of you Cabinet members, ask the bureaus to have a logbook,” he said. “Sabihin mo sa kanila (Tell them), you write all the things that you need for a particular transaction or paper or document in your office. Ilista mo sa (List it in the) logbook when it was submitted. Then, in another logbook or across it, is kailan lumabas (indicate when it was released) So I will audit it.”

The President again vented frustrations over the alleged snail-paced transactions in government that cause inconvenience to the public.

Duterte said he would call out those who will fail to heed his order to streamline the government’s processing of public documents.

“I will ask the people to (issue a complaint). May 8888 (They can dial 8888). You name the department and the name of Cabinet member or director concerned. Sabihin mo lang (Just tell me) because I will read it and I will call the attention of the particular officer in government para talagang matapos na itong ano (so it will be addressed),” he said.

On November 22 last year, Duterte directed all government offices to finish their pending transactions by December 15 this year.

As of December 2019, some 21 government agencies and two local government units have complied with the President’s directive by submitting the lists of their pending contracts, the state-run Anti-Red Tape Authority said earlier this month.

During the 44th Cabinet meeting on December 2, Duterte approved the proposal to streamline and automate processes of government agencies to further improve the country’s business climate.

The President, in his latest speech, noted that the slow pace of transactions in government is having an impact on the Philippine economy.

“That’s why it slows down and we’re getting nowhere. And that’s why the economy is really dragging,” he said.

In May 2018, Duterte inked Republic Act (RA) 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 to address the tedious and unnecessary procedures in the delivery of public services.

RA 11032, which supersedes RA 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007, mandates government agencies to process simple transactions within three working days, complex transactions within seven working days, and highly-technical transactions in 20 working days.

No preferential treatment

In June 2019, the President sought the issuance of an executive order (EO) that would streamline government processes and set a timetable on the release of public documents under the executive branches.

Getting “impatient” by the supposed failure to fast-track the government transactions, the President said he might sign the EO during his next meeting with his Cabinet.

He, however, did not mention when the next Cabinet meeting would be held.

“I’d come up with a program or an executive order maybe fast-tracking everything. I’ll just give a director about two to three days then beyond that you have to explain to me why it took you so long to process the paper,” Duterte said.

Greed in government, he said, prevails and workers are lazy.

“So I want the papel, bitawan mo agad ‘yan (I want the paper to be released immediately). It’s either if you approve it, do it. If you do not approve it, fine,” Duterte added. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

The Philippine News Agency is a web-based newswire service of the Philippine government under the supervision of the News and Information Bureau (NIB) of the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).

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