Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Salceda Files Bill To Modernize Gov’t Services

Salceda Files Bill To Modernize Gov’t Services

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A measure seeking to streamline inefficient government processes to modernize the delivery of citizen services has been filed at the House of Representatives.

Albay Rep. Joey Salceda filed on Jan. 25 House Bill No. 8455, which seeks to institute comprehensive reforms such as the abolition of the cedula, one-day business registration, and the ‘portability’ of all social benefits such as the Philippine Health. Insurance Corporation. (PhilHealth), Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, and other social programs.

The bill allows the President to suspend requiring the Community Tax Certification or cedula in government transactions.

Salceda said the cedula has become obsolete for almost all intents and purposes, noting that it is an inadequate form of identification and an ineffective tool for local government collection, and hence redundant on most occasions.

“It’s time we phase it out… The cedula was established when the use of government identification cards was not yet widespread. That is no longer the case. As a government requirement, punitin na natin ang (let us tear up the) cedula,” Salceda said.

Salceda said the bill also proposes to ease venue rules and link social benefits to a nationwide database, such as the national ID system so that eligible citizens can avail of the benefits anywhere in the country.

He said that one reason benefits get politicized is that they are linked to specific local government units or territorial jurisdictions.

He added that transport costs prevent the poor from fully benefiting from social programs.

The bill includes powers that will help cut business registration time to just one day.

“If the powers provided in this bill are used fully, business registration in the country could be reduced to just one day, with the client-facing just one clearing agency,” Salceda said.

Salceda said the bill would empower the President to eliminate redundant authorizations within the executive branch.

Furthermore, the bill could also lead to a single national ID for businesses, which he said, would dispense with the need for multiple, overlapping permits.

“My office did a study. When a business registers, it interacts with at least 10 government offices. That’s too much. Our plan is simple: one single business registration agency. No overlapping registrations. The registration agency will take care of processing it with other agencies,” he said.

The House leadership has assured the public that the chamber will quickly enact the urgent measure. (PNA)

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