President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday signed into law two legislative measures aimed at improving the country’s education system and enhancing business competitiveness and good governance.
Both legislative measures support the administration’s Ten-Point Socio-Economic Agenda.
The first legislation was the Act Converting the Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology into the Davao Oriental State University recognizing the institution’s valuable role in producing professionals and experts who contributed to the advancement of Davao Region and entire Mindanao.
“It is my sincere hope that our country’s newest university will continue to take part in nation-building by offering advanced technological instruction and [by] pursuing highly specialized research programs in various fields of science and technology,” the President said in his speech during the event.
The other measure is the Ease of Doing Business Act of 2018, the law that addresses the failure of the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007. This is aimed at solving the perennial problem of bureaucratic red tape in government institutions.
The law will simplify requirements and streamline procedures to spare the people from the intolerable waiting time and long lines in frontline government agencies.
One of the important features of the law is the standardization of the processing time for government transactions. Under the new law, government agencies are required to process simple transactions within three working days and complex transactions in seven working days and highly technical transactions in 20 working days.
The law will also limit to a maximum of three the number of signatories for applications for licenses, clearances, permits, certifications and authorizations.
Electronic signatures will also be recognized and a zero-contact policy will be implemented to avoid improprieties.
It also requires local governments to automate their business permit and licensing systems, to set up one-stop business facilitation services and to use online unified business application forms.
This complements the mandate of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to automate business-related transactions through web-based software and technological platforms.
According to the President, one of the priorities of the administration’s Ten-Point Socio-Economic Agenda is encouraging competitiveness and improving overall business environment.
“We intend to accomplish that by promoting integrity, accountability and good governance in all government transactions,” he said.
“By automating our bureaucratic processes and integrating online mechanisms in day-to-day transactions, we do not just bring our people closer to their government. We also forge a vibrant and productive relationship that will redound to the benefit of the people,” he added.
Irked by the continued abuses and corruption in government, the President fired also during Monday’s event the Government Corporate Counsel for allegedly granting gambling franchise to the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport (Apeco).
“You are fired. I do not need you and maybe you do not need me,” he said.
“There are thousands of lawyers there waiting for an appropriate opportunity to work in government… All I have to do is just look around,” he added.
The Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) is the principal and statutory law office of government-owned-and-controlled corporations (GOCC’s), their subsidiaries, government financial institutions, government corporate offspring, government instrumentalities with corporate powers and government acquired asset corporations. ###PND