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Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson is optimistic the Anti-Red Tape Act, which he authored and sponsored in a bid to bring down the number of steps and days involved in a government transaction, will pave the way for efficient and expeditious public service.
Lacson commended President Arroyo Monday for signing Republic Act 9485, saying it is a step in the right direction for a meaningful partnership between Malacañang and Congress.
“I commend Mrs. Arroyo for responding to the clamor for efficient, expeditious and responsible public service. This is the kind of partnership between the executive branch and the Senate that our people need,” he said.
Lacson initiated the anti-red tape bill in the Senate as part of his advocacy against corruption and inefficiency in government.
He added he will continue to cooperate with the administration on such matters, particularly in passing laws that will benefit the people by stamping out corruption in the bureaucracy, saying he is gratified this bill did not join the list of “sleeping bills” in Congress’ archives.
RA 9485 requires government offices to adopt fixed deadlines to complete transactions, and regularly assess and upgrade their frontline services.
It provides a five-day deadline for the completion of simple transactions, and a 10-day deadline for the completion of complex transactions that require background checks.
While the law deems as approved transactions that are not acted upon, it penalizes heads of departments or offices who allow such transactions to lapse. The law also limits the number of signatories to five, in contrast to past transactions that would have required more than 20 signatures.
Government offices must set up information billboards and public assistance desks, and frontline agencies will be subject to a report card survey by the Civil Service Commission (CSC). The law also provides immunity to whistleblowers to encourage them to expose corruption in the bureaucracy.