22 February 2022 – A fixer and his security guard cohort who tried to take advantage of a student permit applicant were arrested by the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) at the Land Transportation Office (LTO) Sorsogon Field Office Compound last 18 February 2022.

According to a report, ARTA Secretary Belgica, along with his top management and other key government officials, was conducting an inspection on the field when they caught the fixers in the act.

The 19-year-old victim was in the process of applying for a student permit at the said office when the security guard encouraged her to secure the necessary documents outside the LTO premises for faster processing.

The victim was asked to pay P2,000 inclusive of driving certificate, medical certificate, and the processing of her application. She was brought to a clinic by an unidentified companion of the suspect and was issued a medical certificate even without undergoing a thorough medical examination.

She was also asked to proceed to the sub office of a driving school for photo taking and was issued a certificate of completion without undergoing actual theoretical training.

After this, the victim was asked to wait at the LTO Sorsogon Field Office to claim her documents where ARTA officials found out about her plight.

The suspects are now under custody of the Sorsogon City Police Station and may face charges for violation of Republic Act No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.

ARTA Sec. Belgica reiterated his reminder to the public not to engage in fixers.

“Corruption is a two-way street. Bukod sa mga hindi pa naaayos na mga proseso ng gobyerno, hindi mawawala ang fixing, ang red tape, at korapsyon, kung patuloy itong hahanapin ng mga tao,” he said.

The LTO-Region V commended the Authority’s action and stressed that they do not tolerate any form of red tape in their offices.

“We commend the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), headed by its Director General, Atty. Jeremiah B. Belgica, on the surprise inspection that it conducted on February 18, 2022 at LTO Sorsogon District Office, which led to the warrantless arrest of two (2) suspects for violation of Republic Act No. 11032 (RA 11032), otherwise known as ‘Ease of Doing Business Law,'” its official statement read.

“LTO Regional Office V shall continue in its efforts in ensuring that transactions in the agency are compliant with the mandates of R.A. 11032 and other laws and regulations,” it added.

The LTO-Region V also encouraged those who experienced instances of fixing or red tape to file a report through their official Facebook page or mobile number at 09294999577.

For its part, the Authority put up an ARTAmbayan Outpost at Matnog Port which will serve as an avenue for the public to relay their red tape concerns.

ARTA also welcomes complaints and concerns on red tape that the public can send through variuos channels: through physical filing by mail, through calls and texts at its various hotline numbers, via email, or via its social media platforms.