OCTOBER 17, 2019 – The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) filed a case against Camarines Norte Governor Edgardo A. Tallado at the Office of the Ombudsman on Thursday for violation of Section 21 (d) and (e) of R.A. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.

ARTA Director General Jeremiah Belgica led the case filing following an investigation brought about by a complaint endorsed by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission to the Authority.

The Camarines Norte Governor was found to have committed violations against R.A. 11032 particularly:

Section 21 (d) failure to give the applicant or requesting party a written notice on the disapproval of an application or request;
Section 21 (e) failure to render government services within the prescribed processing time on any applications or request without due cause.

“Bawal na bawal po yan na iipitin mo yung papel ng walang dahilan, kaya po yung officials na are still contemplating whether totoo itong batas na ito, we’re asking you now to please release the documents if they are already complete because it’s not going to be easy on you,” DG Belgica said in his press briefing in Malacañang yesterday.

R.A. 11032 imposes stricter penalties for violations as it introduces the two-strike policy. Depending on the investigation of the Ombudsman, penalties for the first or second offense may apply which are as follows:

First Offense: Administrative liability with six (6) months suspension;
Second Offense: Administrative liability and criminal liability of dismissal from the service, perpetual disqualification from holding public office, and forfeiture of retirement benefits and imprisonment of one (1) year to six (6) years with a fine of not less than five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000) but not more than two million pesos (P2,000,000).

Today’s case filing marks the 100th day of DG Belgica as ARTA’s czar upon assuming office on July 9, 2019.

By far, a provincial governor is the highest official against whom the Authority had filed charges. Prior to this, ARTA had filed a case against the Mayor of San Nicolas, Batangas and the Registrar of Deeds of the Registry of Deeds (ROD) San Pablo, Laguna at the Office of the Ombudsman. It had also filed cases at the Civil Service Commission against employees of the ROD Davao and the Land Transportation and Franchising Board.