Jail and hefty fines await individuals found guilty of involvement in fixing, Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) Director General Jeremiah Belgica warned.
Citing Republic Act No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, Belgica said anyone who offers fixing services or colludes with fixers will face one to six years of imprisonment with a fine of up to P2,000,000.
Offending government workers will also be dismissed from the service, disqualified from holding public service perpetually, and denied of retirement benefits.
Belgica stressed on these penalties following a news report of ABS-CBN about the arrest of a Caloocan City Hall employee for extorting P350,000 from an entrepreneur in exchange of the processing of business permit.
“Ang babala ko sa lahat ng taong gobyerno, wag manghihingi o magpapalagay ng pera. Gawin po natin ang trabaho natin ng marangal at maayos kundi paparusahan po kayo ng batas Ang babala ko naman sa mga taong bayan, huwag nang makipagsabwatan sa fixer at huwag nang mag-alok ng pera,” the ARTA Director General said.
ARTA is currently collaborating with the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) primary investigation arm, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), to create a comprehensive anti-fixer campaign. The two agencies are expected to launch it within the year.
“Pare-parehong may kaparusahan ang taong pribado at taong gobyerno sa usapin ng kurapsyon. Makipagtulungan po kayo sa amin. Isumbong niyo po para mawala na ang fixer,” the ARTA czar continued. Aside from this, Belgica is calling on the public to report government anomaly to ARTA through its various complaint channels. Complainants may email ARTA at firstname.lastname@example.org or publicly post their photos and videos and use #iARTAnaYan in their respective Facebook and Twitter accounts.