“Change is coming” – as President Rodrigo Duterte vowed for his term. Part of his promises is to end the long queues and extortion in obtaining government permits and documents. Three days. That should be the longest processing time to obtain a certain document. President Duterte described, Filipinos are being miserable when they fall in long lines and taking so much time despite the fact that government offices have the required technology to finish the processing in a shorter period of time. President Duterte said “I do not want people spending money just to get something from government for the simple reason na bayad na kami. You pay taxes”. That’s why in his inaugural speech, President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated:
“I direct all department secretaries and the heads of agencies to reduce requirements and the processing time of all applications from the submission to release. I order all department secretaries and the heads of agencies to remove redundant requirements and compliance with one department and agency shall be accepted as sufficient for all.”
I can still remember the time when I was renewing my car’s registration at the Land Transportation Office in Quezon City. There were a lot of people processing different documents at that time. There were also a number of people at the gate, greeting newcomers, offering help with a promise of shorter processing time.
I was in line to a window to get my documents evaluated when I noticed people standing inside of the office, holding bunch of documents and putting these documents on top of the documents that are first in queue. I saw these people at the gate. I am sure these are not employees of LTO. I tried to take a picture secretly but unfortunately the copy was blurred as I checked afterwards.
The last step of the whole process was payment at the cashier wherein names will be called for payment. I was sure that mine will be called in a few minutes because there were only at most ten people waiting to get called. But to my surprise, fifteen names has been called but mine still wasn’t.
Then I saw this guy, with a grin in his face as he finished paying at the cashier, holding a number of sets of documents. I am sure he’s the guy inside the office before. And that confirmed he’s not an LTO employee, but a Fixer. When I finished, I saw other fixers haggling tips/payments with their “customers”, “Padagdag naman Boss/Ma’am. ”
In President Duterte’s term, we have high hopes that these irregularities, corruption and redundancies in the government will be put to an end. We have high hopes that government offices will be more efficient and effective with their jobs. Although, we should not forget that we have the greater role for these changes to succeed. Imagine the time when we don’t have to make bribes or pay a fixer and enjoy a hassle free and less miserable documents processing.