Capitol to expedite processing, regulate public access to info

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita July 26,2016 - 09:48 PM


THE Cebu provincial government yesterday welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte’s challenge to local government units to shorten processing time of permits and other requests from the public.

Provincial Administrator Mark Tolentino said while there are certain factors that affect the immediate processing and release of requests, they will look for ways to also comply with the president’s directive.

President Duterte reiterated his order to cut down on red tape during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) last Monday.

Tolentino also said the province will look into the recently signed Executive Order (EO) on the Freedom of Information (FOI).

“I think it (processing) can be brought down to three days. I’m sure the president has experience on that being mayor of Davao for many years. We will also try. That’s his call to LGUs. We will look for ways to make it three days,” he told reporters.

He said the usual reasons for the delays in processing requests are due to the volume of work in the LGUs which are not intentional.

Tolentino said there are certain procedures and requirements that have to be complied with by the requesting parties.

“We’re also very conscious of the COA (Commission on Audit). So we try to follow the procedures as much as we can,” he said.

Tolentino said each department in the Capitol has its own Citizen’s Charter which outlines the process and timeframe for requests and transactions depending on the documents being requested.

Tolentino said the province will also review the newly signed EO on the FOI.

He said it’s not directly applicable to LGUs which are still enjoined to observe the same provisions.

Tolentino mentioned a memorandum he issued in November last year in which he reminded department heads that requests for documents should be made in writing to be approved by concerned department heads.

He said this procedure is “reasonable.”

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III also welcomed the executive order on the FOI saying it’s a good move.

But he said there should be guidelines to be followed in securing information from the Capitol.

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TAGS: Cebu, Cebu Provincial Capitol, FOI, Freedom of Information, information, President Rodrigo Duterte, Provincial Administrator Mark Tolentino

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