By Noel Cabobos
Red Tape: Official routine or procedure marked by excessive complexity which results in delay or inaction–Merriam-Webster
The slow and convoluted process of doing business on the island of Boracay has reached an alarming state, and right now, the cries of the business community are reverberatingly louder than all the past administrations combined.
Indeed, right now, the local government unit of Malay under Acting Mayor Frolibar Bautista is implementing the most burdensome regulations so far and he’s actually doing it “big time”.
You see, if it doesn’t pain him to see people queuing up at the local health centers just to apply for the health cards; if it doesn’t cause uneasiness on his part to make applicants going nuts in looking for him just to have his precious signature affixed in their applications; and if he doesn’t give a damn in having applications (both for new business and renewal of business licenses) delayed, then there is something wrong with this acting mayor…definitely something is so wrong.
The practice of excessive bureaucratic rigmarole as what this acting mayor has so far has galvanized in so short a time of his administration is, I think, a portent of the more difficult times ahead of us, and therefore a united action to finally put a stop to it is the call of the hour.
It is very clear now that even at this early, the acting mayor has been able to commit serious violations of The Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 (RA 11032), a law that amended the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA), by prominently violating the following:
- Refusal to accept an application or request with complete requirements without due cause;
- Imposition of additional requirements or fees other than those required;
- Failure to give the applicant or requesting party a written notice of disapproval;
- Failure to render government service within prescribed processing time;
Also under this law, the LGU is mandated to establish the BOSS or the Business One-Stop-Shop, but what he did after his assumption is actually the reverse of it thereby the already established BOSS on the LGU’s Satellite Office on the island is now practically non-functioning.
And this situation right now is strangling not only business growth on the island but is also the business owners and their staff as well.
I cannot recall, in the past or recent memory, this kind of situation where hues and cries among both the stakeholders and the employees that loud. It is only this time. Only this time under this acting mayor who, I believe, has just established this unforgettable record of notoriety–the notoriety of denying access to swift and quality government service.
So, as a people affected by this wrong kind of regulation, what do you think shall we do about it? Post on social media? Write about it? Nahhh! Simply not enough.
You see, this acting mayor, one-of-a-kind as he is, has developed and perfected this apathetic attitude towards everybody which is why he just doesn’t give a damn or just couldn’t care less of the sufferings of his constituents.
And this indifference is only teaching us a lesson to be more aware of our rights and be vigilant in defending them.
R.A. 11032 is there to provide simplified requirements and procedures aimed at expediting business and non-business related transactions. It is there to eliminate red tape and to simplify frontline service procedures when you deal with the government. It is there to take positive and effective measures against graft and corruptions. It is there to promote transparency and efficiency in the delivery of government services. But it’s up to us to expose anything that is not in accordance with this law just what the President had underscored upon the passage of this particular law.
Yes, we need to act. And we need to act swiftly.
P.S. Just in case, President Duterte created the Anti-Red Tape Authority to handle issues and concerns about violations of this law. It is currently headed by Atty. Jeremiah B. Belgica with the rank of a Director General. He holds office at the ground floor of HPGV Building (Formerly Accelerando), 395 Senator Gil J. Puyat Avenue, Makati City.