LGU execs warned: Don’t use election as excuse to slacken off in gov’t transactions

By Rosalie O. Abatayo |March 25,2019 - 09:24 PM

Regional directors in Central Visayas convene in a directors’ meeting and dialogue with Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman Dante Jimenez in Cebu on March 25, 2019. | CDND PHOTO/ Rosalie O. Abatayo

MANDAUE CITY, Cebu — Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) chairman Dante Jimenez has warned incumbent government officials against slackening in dealing with government transactions because of election affairs and politicking.

Jimenez, who met with regional directors of the national line agencies in Central Visayas, said local chief executives should not use the elections as an excuse for them to delay the issuance of permits and other transactions.

Read more: PACC to ask heads of regional line agencies to commit to fight corruption, red tape

“Kahit na sinasabi niyo na election period, may mga administrator kayo, may mag in charge kayo. Hindi pwedeng natutulog ang mga LGU (local government unit),” Jimenez said.

(Even if you say that its the election period, but you have administrators so put somebody in charge for that. The LGU (local government unit) cannot sleep on their job at this time.)

Jimenez added that he already asked the regional directors of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to work together in going after local officials, who would fail to implement the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) law which was enacted July last year.

Under the law, simple transactions or requests should be accomplished not later than 3 days while more complex ones should be completed in 7 working days. Highly technical transactions or those that need review or ratification from local councils are only given 20 days to be completed.

“We will never tolerate incompetence because incompetence is corruption,” said Jimenez.

DTI-7 Regional Director Asteria C. Caberte, who was present during the directors’ dialogue with PACC on Monday, March 25, also said that some local chief executives were still practicing oppression of business permit applicants if the latter would not be allied with the administration.

“For the LGUs, some of our micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) still have a hard time getting mayor’s permits. Some mayors still insist that the forms should be exclusively distributed by then, and we know that some of them are still not giving the forms to applicants who are not friends with them,” Caberte said during the open forum.

Caberte added that the MSMEs were the ones suffering because of the practices of some LGUs.

Read more: PACC dialogue: Heads of gov’t offices in CV told to shun political activities

“I already told the regional directors ng DTI and DILG to work together and file a complaint against these local officials. The law will run after you. Even if you run and win in this election, the law will run after you. At the same time, once ma-identify ng DILG ito (erring officials), and makarating sa aming opisina, ipaparating namin kay presidente ito at ie-expose po namin yung mga hindi nag-cocomply ng mga mabilisan na services (At the same time, once the DILG can identify these erring officials and this can reach our office, then we will make sure that this can reach the President and we will expose those who will not comply in hastening the delivery of their services),” Jimenez warned.

“Ang sinasabi ko (to LGU officials), please do your jobs […] Hindi po kayo exempted sa batas. (You are not exempted from the law) May criminal and administrative sanctions ang batas (EODB law) (The law has criminal and administrative sanctions [EODB law]). We are calling the local chief executives, please cooperate. You have to help our small businesses,” he added./dbs

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