Press Release
April 23, 2013


Equating discretion to corruption, Senator Chiz Escudero said the results of the Report Card Survey (RCS) of the Civil Service Commission showing some 150 government offices miserably mired in red tape was a testament to the deep-seated culture that breeds corrupt practices in government.

"I have always advocated that discretion equals corruption and cutting red tape is putting a stop to discretion," Escudero said.

Based on the RCS, those who failed the efficiency test were offices of the Government Service Insurance System , Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Butuan City branch), Philippine Postal Corp. (Butuan City branch), National Bureau of Investigation (ARMM and Butuan City branches), Bureau of Fire Protection (Baguio City branch) and eight branches of the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

The study was conducted by the CSC last year.

Escudero said red tape has been a persistent problem that hounds every administration.

"Discretion multiplies at the same rate that an official's signature is affixed to a document, thus, reducing red tape is in itself removing invitation to corrupt practices," he said.

"In a technologically advanced paperless world, it's a big mystery why it is still necessary to have an average of 10 signatures on documents to transact with the government and to have the signatories decide on the fate of the person seeking to avail of government service," Escudero lamented.

He said that while many private now transact business online, those that seek to secure permits or licenses still face the ordeal of carrying bundles of documents to be signed or initialed by up to 30 government functionaries in some cases.

Escudero cited the RCS result on 11 BOC regional offices nationwide in which only its main office in the Port of Manila earned a "good" rating.

"Discretion is involved in the evaluation and determination of what shipments to withhold or release, what cargos should undergo x-ray inspection, what items will have to be imposed additional requirements on top of the basic set of what is required under the law," Escudero said.

"There are several areas that Customs bureau should identify where discretion is present to allow the crafting of a law to lessen it," Escudero said. "It is the job of the Senate to improve the system through legislation to reduce the instances of red tape in Customs bureau and in any other agencies," Escudero added.

He said that agencies should veer away from resorting to publicity campaigns in improving their image instead of actually improving the services they render.

The CSC survey was based on frontline services delivery, service quality, physical working condition, and overall client satisfaction on government offices.

News Latest News Feed