To our distinguished guests, our Vice President, Senior Vice President, Mr. Bien C. Mateo. Palakpakan po natin si Sir Bien. To our beloved former colleague po natin sa Office of the President, si former Usec. Queenie Dizon-Rodolfo, Ma’am. Nice to see you again. To ourconsultant for government office operations, Ma. Maria Luz C. Generoso, mabuhay po kayo. To our Presidential Adviser for Moral Transformation and Religiours Affairs, ang dahilan kung bakit ho kami naririto sa mundong ibabaw, Bishop Grepor Butch Begical. Buti hindi nagtanggal ng mask kasi mahahalata malaki ho ang gwapo ho ng aming tatay. To our undersecretaries, Usec. Carlos Quita, Sir; to our Undersecretary for Operations Usec Ernesto Perez, Sir; and also, ang tatanggap ho ng mga reklamo sa kanya pong opisina ang aming pong Undersecreatery for Legal and Litigation, Usec. Eduardo Bringas. And of course, let me just mention the representatives from our barangay, si Kagawad at lumakad na ho kanina si Chairman. To our assistant mall manager of our SM City Manila, Ma’am Sybil Gualberto, salamat po.

I could remember may be… September last year nung nagkausap po kami ni Sir Ryan, nandito po ba si Sir Ryan? It was just a casual conversation that we had. So, the occassion was, I went here to visit you know the registration of voters that was being done by COMELEC. You know, COMELEC being a constitutional body is actually outside of the jurisdiction of ARTA but nonetheless we wanted to know how we could help. So pumunta po ang ARTA kasi ho sabi namin basta ho mahaba ang pila hindi naman ho naiintindihan ng tao minsan ang mga jurisdictions. Ang naiintindihan lamang po nila ay kung nagtutulungan po tayong lahat sa gobyerno.

So, we went there, I also told the officials of COMELEC na ako po’y dadaan… so to make the long story short, nagpunta po ako dito. Sinalubong po kami nila Sir Ryan at sila Ma’am Sybil, doon ho namin nakita ang situation. Sa amin hong pagkakape afterward napag-usapan ho nila, “Sir, bakit hindi ho kaya tayo maglagay dito ng Action Center.” Sabi ko, “hindi kami tatanggi kapag ganyan ang offer satin. Mayroon tayong action center para sa taong bayan.” So, immediately, we requested Usec. Caloy. Usec. Caloy, also directed Col. Jess Cardona. Sir, congratulations. Palakpakan ho natin si Col. Cardona na nakipag-usap, nakipagtulungan sa pamunuaan po ng SM kaya ho tayo nairirto ngayon dahil napakahalaga po ng ating ginagawa.

You know, there is a misconception normally sa role ho ng gobyerno sa buhay ng tao. Akala ho ng tao, kapag ang tao ho ay gutom, ang tao ay hirap sa buhay, lahat ho kasalanan ng gobyerno. But, let me ask you a question, sino po ba sa inyo ang kumain noong nakaraang linggo na pumunta ho kayo sa city hall para ho kumuha kayo ng pagkain or within the month. I would say right now na wala po sinuman sa atin. Because it’s really not the government that feeds us, it’s the economy. It’s the people. It’s commerce, it’s business, production, innovation, trade, services, inventions emanate from the people. Ang tao po ang gumagawa ng solusyon sa ating mga problema. Kaya ho sa kadalasan, tinitingnan ho natin, nakakita ho tayo ng problema for example, pandemya.Sino ho ba gumawa ng gamot, sino ho ba ang gumawa ng bakuna, sino ang naghahanap ng solusyon para sa iba’t iba pong darating at maaaring mangyari. It’s really the people, it’s really thebusinesses, it’s really the economy.

We really need to support the people in the exercise of their right to life, liberty and property. Kaya nga po napakahalaga that we promote freedom sa mga tao to do what they should to feed their families. To find work if needed dahil the government would come in at the same time to make sure that wala hong magdadayaan in the process. To make sure na ibibigay ho ang nararapat sa mga taong nagtatransact sa isa’t isa. We have always heard that you know, one of the sources of obligation is contracts. Ang kontrata kapag kayo po ay nagkaroon ng handshake na agreement, ibig sabihin ho nyan, ito ho’y pinagtitibay na rin ng batas dahil we understand the sanctity of the agreement. “Let your yes beyes, let your no be no,” ‘yan ho nag sinabi ng banal na kasulatan and in due time, you know this Judea-Christian understanding of being a man of your word, and being a woman of your word and having an honor to follow through your promises is now being protected by government and its institutions.

We enact laws to simply recognize the existence of an obligation that comes from private transactions. We have to understand that the government comes in to make sure that the playing field is leveled. Pero, wala hong magagawa ang gobyerno kung tayo po ay tamad, kung tayo po ay walang sariling palo, wala pong sariling pagsisikap. Pero ito ho ang problema, kapag ikaw sa kabila ng iyong pagiging masipag, sa kabila ng iyong pagiging mahusay, pagiging isang inventive, if government comes in the way, through excessive bureaucracy. Yan ho ang nangyayari at lahat ho tayo dito.

Nag-uusap ho kami ni VP Mateo kanina, sabi n’ya sa akin, and Sir if you would allow me to share just a little bit, sabi n’ya, “Sec, minsan, ang nabibiktima mismo ng excessive bureaucracy o red tape ay mga taong gobyerno mismo.” And I will not disagree with that, the point is lahat ho tayo ay apektado dito. Gobyerno, hindi gobyerno, pampribado o publiko. In the same way that we are all affected by the problem of excessive bureaucracy, bawat isa rin po sa’tin ay meron pong role to play. Bawat isa po sa atin ay maaring magcontribute sa solusyon o sa problema. ‘Wag kang magrereklamo taumbayan, kung ikaw ay nakikinig ngayon. We are live in the PCOO pages. Magrereklamo ka [na] ang daming naglipanang fixer, patol ka naman ng patol sa fixer. Di ka pa nagsisimula sa iyong transaksyon, tinatanung mo na agad, “meron ba tayong kilala d’yan, pare?” Hindi mo man lang sinubukan yung proses. “Kilala na namin yan!” Kaya ang nangyayari sa atin, pumapasok palang tayo sa government office, kinakaway na tayo ng mga fixer at pinauupo tayo dun sa mga tindahan na kung saan sila nakatambay at sasabihin sa’yo, “wag ka na tumuloy do’n. Mahirap kasi. Dito ka na lang. Ito ang tunay na one-stop shop. Wag kang maniwala dun sa sinasabi nilang one-stop shop, walang gano’n!” Ikaw naman, “o sige para mapadali, bigay na lang ako”. Non-appearance, “sige, gawin ko na lang.”
And we feed you know the monster that has been alluding us for so long because everybody has a role to play and people in government, ako po’y muling nanawagan, wag ho natin gamitin and ating posisyon pakinabangan para sa ating sarili.

Kung gusto mong magpayaman, umalis ka sa gobyerno. Kung gusto mong paalwanin ang buhay ng tao, manatili tayo sa paglilingkod. And the government is really doing a lot of reforms to really make the lives of our government servants, civil servants more comfortable as well. Mahalaga po ‘yan. Hindi ho porket ikaw ay nagsisilbi sa gobyerno ikaw ay nanggigigitata. Hindi ka rerespetuhin din. Kaya nga ‘tong ating Pangulo nitong nakaraan taon, itinaas ang sahod sa pulis, itinaas ang sahod sa militar, para bigyan ng dignidad, pati ho ang ating mga guro… Kaya ho I cannot overstate my gratitude when we talk about businesses, you know businesses being the solution, nagbibigay ho ng magagandang solusyon sa problema ng tao. Wala na ho akong maisip na sentro ho ng komersyo talaga para sa malaki o maliit na tao kundi si SM. Tama po ba ‘yon? Kaya nga ho, naalala ko ho yung storya ng SM… The late Sir Henry Sy that visualize na magkaroon ng lugar that you could even stay for days and you could have everything that you need. What a dream! And that dream actually came true! And now, hindi na lamang po mga negosyo ang naririto pati po ang gobyerno pinapasok na rin po nila kasi naiintindihan ho nila na kinakailangan ng tao ang gobyerno at ang gobyerno kailangan mapalapit sa tao. And sa mga tenants, ewan ko kung naririto na, makakatulong na rin ho tayo dito. At sana, magkatotoo po yung aming pinapangarap lamang po ni Sir Bien kanina, baka sakaling ma-multiply itong partnership ng ARTA at ng SM sa buong Pilipinas. All of the 78, 79, 80 kung ilan po na mga opisina… basta meron kayong government center baka pwede ho eventually magkaroon ho tayo ng ARTA Center po d’yan. Okay ho ba ‘yon sa inyo? Alam ko iniisip nina Usec. Caloy, “naku, problema na naman ‘to. S’an tayo kukuha ng tao?” Binigyan rin kami ni Sir Bien ng solusyon, “makipag-usap kayo sa LGU baka pwede?” Tama ho, gagawin ho namin yan. But nonetheless, the point is, it’s a collaborative effort. What we’re doing here is not just a simple launching of an Action Center, but it is a statement that we’re saying here that the battle against red tape and government bureaucracy is a joint effort between the public and the private. At hindi na lamang po ang tao an s’yang tinitingnan ng mga regulators, sa bisa po ng panibagong batas ng Republic Act [No.] 11032 o ang panibagong ARTA law ang regulators na rin po ang s’yang meron pong tumitingin sa kanila. And that is how we should really do it and doon ho kanina pinakita ni Usec. Bringas yoong complaints management or concerns management system, para hindi naman ho kayo ma-red tape sa ARTA. Kasi ho baka naman ho kami, do’n ho kayo magkaproblema. Nagreklamo hokayosa amin, hindi naman ho maaksyunan.

As I would end my speech, ARTA has two major functions. Enforcement and empowerment. Enforcement, ‘yan po yung investigation, ‘yan po yung entrapment, filing of cases kung kinakailangan but the real bulk of the problem that would really solve government inefficiency or boost government efficiency is in the streamlining reengineering of services and eventual automation po ng mga serbisyo po natin.

Corruption has two legs by which it stands upon. First is the desire for corruption. Sa puso ng tao, ‘yan po ang tinatawag na kasalanan. Gusto ho ng tao gumawa ho ng korapsyon. But the second is, the opportunity for corruption. So what ARTA is doing is we’re limiting the opportunity for corruption. By streamlining, ang dating isang kamay na dinadaanan, sampung dinadaanan, ngayo’y po naging tatlo hanggang maging dalawa, hanggang maging automated na. So, the opportunity is limited, yung desire po, ‘yan ho siguro ang trabaho ni Bishop, ano po, moral transformation, religious affair, spiritual regeneration. But for us, in ARTA, we battle not only government inefficiency but we combat corruption by removing the opportunity for them. But corruption is like a water, it always seeks a place by which it could pass upon. Kaya kailangan ho tayong maging mapagmasid pa din.

And also, as we move towards e-governance which is the vision of our President, which is the vision of our government, we do know that we cannot automate until we have streamlined and reengineered our processes. ‘Yan po ang kinakailangan po nating gawin. At ang bawat isa po sa atin, nakikita napo natin ngayon ‘yan. Ang dating less than 100 LGUs nung kami po’y pumasok, ngayon po’y more than 900 na po mahigit ang nakapag-automate na po ng kanilang services. Isang example dito ang City of Manila na inautomate na rin ho nila ang kanilang business permitting and licensing office. Nag time and motions study po kami, 17 minutes, nakuha po yungbusiness permit. Palakpakan naman po natin ang atin pong city.

In closing, let me just say this, the battle against red tape is continuous, and as we innovate with our partnerships, innovate with our systems, innovate with our technologies, the problems and those who would want to seek to do harm to the people, through corruption also innovate. So, one thing should remain, our commitment and our desire to make things better for the people. And this is what exactly the President says. Gusto n’yang maging komportable and buhay ng bawat Pilipino.

At ako po’y nagpapasalamat dahil nangyayari po ngayon satulong po ng SM, sa tulong po ng bawat isa sa atin, satulong po ng bawat government agencies, wag ho kayong matakot. Ang ARTA po ay inyong kasama. Muli, ang tren ho ng reporma laban sa red tape ay tumatakbo at pabilis nang pabilis. Ang sinumang humarang, tiyan na masasagasaan.

Marami pong salamat. Thank you very much, Sir Mateo. God bless us all and God bless SM!

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