By Genalyn Kabiling
The government has set aside millions to sustain the campaign against red tape and corruption under the proposed 2020 national budget.
In his budget message to Congress, President Duterte said P72 million would go to the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) to advance programs to promote ease of doing business and efficient delivery of government services.
Duterte said P34 million from the Office of the President (OP) budget would also be used to acquire equipment and facilities for the operations of the 8888 Citizens’ Complaint Center.
Another P20 million would be allocated for a program designed to monitor the status and speed of implementation of big-ticket government projects, he added.
“In 2020 and even in the years beyond, we will endeavour to sustain efforts and reforms that have been put in place in order to reduce red tape in the bureaucracy and expedite service delivery transactions to our most valued customers – the Filipino people,” the President said.
He said the government would strengthen implementation of RA No. 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business and the Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, to streamline government procedures.
“To ensure that the objectives of this law will be fulfilled, we have established the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) to implement and oversee the national policy on anti-red tape and regulatory reform, as well as to institutionalize and carry out reforms that will improve our competitiveness ranking. An allocation of P72 million is earmarked for the ARTA, wherein P19 million is provided for the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Delivery of Governance Services Program,” he said.
Under the ARTA budget, at least P68.3 million will go to maintenance and other operating expenses while P4.07 million will be set aside for capital outlays.
On fighting corruption, Duterte said the government would continue to enhance the public feedback mechanisms such as Hotline 8888 as well as the 8888 Citizens’ Complaint Center to report inefficiencies and corruption in government.
“We will continue to act against red tape and corruption by strengthening the institutionalization of Hotline 8888,” he said.
To ensure people’s money is well spent, the President said the government has invested on Project DIME (Digital Imaging for Monitoring and Evaluation) to monitor the status of major programs.
The program uses drones, Light Detection and Ranging, Open Roads Platform and Gestore, Geotagging, and satellites to evaluate the status of projects in far-flung areas. “We are allocating P20 million to continue monitoring the high-value government projects through Project DIME,” Duterte said.