Press Release
September 10, 2010

As gov't hikes fees collection goal to P67 B next year
Recto : Publish 'Feesbook' of permits, licenses

As it ups its target income from fees for permits and licenses by P11.4 billion, from P55.3 billion to P66.7 billion next year, Sen. Ralph Recto wants the national government to put online a "Feesbook" of the cost and time needed to get the official documents.

Recto said a "Feesbook" should explain "how much and how long" it would take a citizen to secure permits, licenses and documents from public offices.

While some agencies have posted them on their websites, Recto noted that there is still "no unified sourcebook" as to the schedule of fees national government agencies are charging for their services.

"The hallmark of a transparent government, which this administration promises to create, is the ease by which citizens gain access to information from the government, especially on documents that they are required to pay for," he said.

Recto proposed that the "Feesbook" also contains the name of the employees and the location of offices from where the desired document will be applied for, processed and paid.

"It could be a portal for online 'shopping' of document, a virtual tour of the offices where it can be secured, and with a Google map on how to get there if physical appearance is required in applying for a document," he said.

"But if all of these can be transacted online, without compromising the authenticity of both the applicant and the permit applied for, then all the better," Recto said.

The senator broached his "Feesbook" idea after national government income from fees and charges is expected to hit P66.7 billion this year, almost triple than what it was seven years ago. Recto said the rule in setting fees is that the "amount must only be enough to recover the costs of the services being rendered, and not to profit from these."

He said any adjustment in fees and charges would only be "palatable to the public if it cuts red tape."

But whatever the rates are, "the result should be faster release of documents and less paper work," Recto said. "An official receipt is a warranty of fast service, not just proof of payment."

"If the local pizza parlor gives your next order free when it misses its 30-minute delivery promise on cut-throat prices, there's no reason why government can't guarantee speedy delivery of service on higher rates," Recto said.

Income derived from "fees and charges" include payments for travel passports, police clearances, and driver's licenses.

The P66.7 billion collection goal for 2011, up from the 2010's target of P55.3 billion, does not include fees collected by local governments.

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