Labella: Cebu City moving to make permits’ processing faster
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella agrees with the request of President Rodrigo Duterte in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) for the Local Government Units (LGU) to ease the processing and releasing of permits.
In the SONA on Monday, July 22, the President called on chief executives of the LGUs including governors and mayors that any permit requiring their approval should be responded to within three days.
“Simplify (the processes). Just like the others, you can do it electronically. You do not have to go to the office. I’ve been asking that from you since three years ago. Pag hindi pa ninyo yan magawa ngayon, papatayin ko talaga kayo. (If you don’t do it now, I will kill you),” said Duterte.
Labella said Cebu City is way ahead of the President’s call as recently, the Office of the Building Official (OBO) has recently launched the OBO Information System (IS) version 2, which will require applicants to submit digital copies of their duly filled up application forms and documentary requirements to facilitate faster processing.
“We promised in our inaugural speech that building permits should be released if all the requirements are already complied with within five days because (more) often than not, in the previous administration, it took years (to get a permit),” said Labella.
He said he would see to it that the processing of building permits would not go beyond 45 days to ensure that the complying establishments could begin business as soon as possible.
“Yes, we incur in toto (with the President) and in fact, there should not be any delay and also, we echo the sentiment of the President. I am giving this advice to our officials of the city, they should not delay for as long as the requirements have already been complied with,” he said.
Labella also revealed that Councilor Raymond Garcia, the majority floor leader of the city council, had promised to sponsor an amendatory ordinance on the city’s tax code.
The amendment would allow the payment of real property taxes to be paid once every two years, making it easier for the establishments to pay their RPTs.
Meanwhile, Labella said that disciplinary actions would be taken for the officials who will be caught delaying the process of any permits for malicious intentions or possible extortions.
President Duterte said in his SONA that anyone who would find themselves to be in front of a government worker attempting to extort money from them, they should be ready to assert their rights.
“I’ve been telling you, mageskandalo ka sa opisina, make a scene. Sampalin mo ang p***ng ina na yan kasi aabot din sa akin yan. Kindly be assertive,” he said.
(I’ve been telling you, make a scandal, make a scene. Slap the extortionist because that will reach me. Kindly be assertive.)
Labella said the strong words of the President should not be taken literally, but should be understood in its essence, which would be to never tolerate any corruption in the government especially in the Cebu City government.
The mayor reminded the public servants of the city that a code of conduct is expected from them, and violation of this code of conduct means repercussions.
He also agreed with the President with the reimposition of the death penalty to include not only drug criminals but also plunderers in the government.
“I agree with the imposition of the death penalty to include plunderers in the government and the President said it now. I said it to him before, and we could see in him that he was frustrated that there are still many plunderers in the government,” said Labella.
Duterte has asked the Congress in his SONA to help him reimpose death penalty as for heinous crimes including drug crimes and plunderers./dbs
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