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‘Fixing’ irrelevant under Du30

12:04 AM May 16, 2017

What is it about the bureaucracy in this country that loves to see applicants sweating it out in long lines for this and that clearance, permit, license, registration, renewal or what-have-you? Only one answer comes to mind: To make “fixing” more lucrative. It enables public officials and employees to double or triple their incomes by sharing in the loot amassed by fixers.

What took Congress so long to come up with a commonsensical solution to shorten the lines and make “fixing” irrelevant? In the Department of Foreign Affairs, there is always a deluge of applications for passport renewal in volumes more than its personnel could handle. The 10-year expiration of passports would automatically reduce the number of such applications by more than half.

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It took the genius and gumption of one man, President Duterte, to hammer into the heads of 300 congressmen and 24 senators the sheer stupidity of a five-year passport validity, given the DFA’s ineptitude and incompetence in handling such matters. The rhetorical question posed by Dino Capistrano—“And we, the people, pay billions of pesos for such ‘wisdom’?” (“Excessive payment of PH legislators’ ‘wisdom,’” Opinion, 5/9/17)—resonates with people who have suffered too long the endless lines for renewal of passports with a shelf-life of only five years.

The same was true of the previous three-year validity of a driver’s license where the ill-equipped and undermanned Land Transportation Office was seldom up to the task. Renewals every three years added to the never-ending lines for a myriad of applications on any given day at any of its offices. A day was practically spent waiting and wasted in that office alone. Thanks again to Du30, we can now see the lines decreasing to just a few bodies, allowing people to use the rest of the day to attend to other business.

ANGELI O. MARCONI, [email protected]

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TAGS: opinion, President Duterte
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