Angara asks gov’t agencies to prepare anti-red tape stats for 2020 budget hearings
Robie de Guzman • August 6, 2019 • 652
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sonny Angara on Monday told government agencies to prepare their “anti-red tape performance and targets” to be detailed during the hearing of their 2020 national budget proposals.
Angara, who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance, said agencies will be asked what they have done to implement government’s “ease of doing business” initiative when they face the Senate panel.
“Anti-red tape performance will now be part of the budget review. These will also be part of the key performance indicators that an agency promises to meet in exchange for the appropriations it will get,” Angara said in a statement.
For certain agencies, Angara said he will demand a “before and after” timetable of the processing of a document, from request to release.
“Kung, say, two days today, next year ba kayang one day na lang? Yung ganung pag-measure ng improvement ang kailangan natin. Para sa susunod na taon, pwede natin malaman kung natupad ba nila ang kanilang promissory note,” he said.
The senator reminded agencies that anti-red tape does not only require the “shortening of the processing time but includes cutting the number of documentary requirements.”
“When you reduce the number of documents, the speed by which an application moves increases. Hindi lang bawas oras, bawas gastos na rin,” he said.
In his fourth State of the Nation Address, President Rodrigo Duterte noted how businessmen were having a hard time in securing their permits, thus causing delays in the start of their operations.
He said clearances and permits should be out in at least three days.
In the World Bank’s 2019 ease of doing business report, the Philippines’ rank slipped 11 notches from 113 in 2018 to 124 in 2019.
The Department of Finance (DOF) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), however, disputed the report, saying that the government “has been hard at work in implementing initiatives to increase the country’s competitiveness.”
Angara is one of the authors of Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business Act, which was enacted in May 2018, but the implementing rules and regulations only came out last month.
The law puts in place the “3-7-20” rule, which requires government offices to complete simple transactions within three days, complex ones within seven days, and highly technical ones within 20 days.
He is also the co-author of Republic Act 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act, which instituted the no-noon break policy, no fixing activities, easy-to-read IDs or nameplates, presence of public assistance and complaints desks, and the implementation of the agency’s Citizen’s Charter which contains the types of frontline services offered with the step-by-step procedure, the person responsible for each step, time needed to transact, documents required, and fees.
MANILA, Philippines — Days after Senator Sonny Angara confirmed he tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), his wife, Elvira “Tootsy” Angara took to social media to bare the difficulties they have to deal with amid their household quarantine.
In an Instagram post, Tootsy revealed that some have refused to deliver essentials to their home after news about the senator’s health condition broke out.
She also said that a neighbor wanted them out of the village.
“As soon as the news came out, some have refused to deliver essentials to our home, a neighbor wished to have us out of our neighborhood, and I don’t blame them,” she said on her profile on Saturday.
She, however, said there are those who helped the household as they undergo a 14-day quarantine. Some have sent them drinking water and food, vitamins and cleaning supplies.
“To our other neighbors who showed us acts of kindness, thank you… Our entire household quarantined for 14 days, family and friends sent us drinking water when we ran out, they sent us oxygen too, the 2 most essential things in life, water and air, some sent us fruits, vegetables, medical supplies ,cleaning aids, vitamins for our household,” she said.
She also thanked the doctors who patiently answered her messages during her husband’s battle against the virus.
“The dear doctors who have been patiently answering my messages, my inquiries and questions. I cannot thank you enough, I am forever grateful for all the beautiful and kind souls God blessed us with,” she said.
Angara’s wife also shared that she feels sad and pained for not being able to take care of her husband who is in quarantine, and admitted to breaking down amid the difficult situation.
“I do have moments of weakness where I break down and cry, because I miss him a lot and don’t know what I can do to help. But I choose to be strong and realized that prayer calmed my heart and made me believe Sonny was going to be okay,” she said.
“I have faith God will help him get through this,” she added.
Angara is the third Filipino senator to have contracted coronavirus following Koko Pimentel and Juan Miguel Zubiri.
MANILA, Philippines – Two senators on Friday called for a break on discussions of issues surrounding the country’s hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
Senator Sonny Angara said questions on funding being raised as well as other negative news on the hosting of the games might distract the athletes from focusing on their competitions.
“Hosting ng Games ‘yan. Dapat naka-concentrate tayo dito. Kasi ‘yung mga atleta natin, kapag maraming issue, baka ma-distract eh. Dapat naka-focus lang sa mga competition nila,” Angara said in a statement.
The lawmaker made the call amid questions on the funds spent for the Games, including the construction of the P50-million worth stadium cauldron.
Senate Minority Franklin Drilon earlier criticized the alleged excessive amount of the cauldron to be used for the opening of the games on Nov. 30, as well as the alleged lack of concrete plan to maintain the facilities built for the event.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, who chairs the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) has defended its cost, saying the cauldron was designed by a national artist and was even cheaper than the one built by Singapore.
Angara assured that any money spent on the Games will eventually be audited as part of the regular processes of the government.
“Dadaan naman talaga sa auditing ang lahat ng ‘yan. Lahat ng gastusin ng gobyerno ay dadaan talaga sa cost audit. Titingnan ito ng Commission on Audit. ‘Yun talaga ang trabaho ng ahensya – kung nagastos ba ng tama ng ahensya ‘yung pera dyan,” he said.
Angara also said that as the host country for the 30th SEA Games, the entire country must be united and show its ASEAN neighbors what the world-renowned Filipino hospitality is all about.
Senator Panfilo Lacson said that he also wanted the discussion on the hosting of the SEA Games be conducted after the event.
“Baka sa halip na ma-focus tayo sa international event na iho-host natin, baka ang focus mapunta sa sinasabing excessive, questionable or masyadong extravagant na paggastos. There’s a time for that,” he said in a media interview.
“I’d rather that we discuss that or even investigate after the games. Kasi baka pati ang mga athletes natin, di maka-focus, kasi baka magkaroon ng perception mali o tama pero nasa isip nila hindi sila maka-focus sa games. Pati organizers baka madiskaril ang focus nila para maging maayos ang pagdadaos ng games sa atin,” he added.
The country will host the 30th SEA Games from November 30 to December 11 and will be held in several venues including the newly built New Clark City in Pampanga, Subic Bay Freeport and Metro Manila.
The SEA Games will be held from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 in various areas in Luzon, including Metro Manila, Pampanga, Zambales and the New Clark City in Tarlac.
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