At his inaugural as 16th president of the Philippines at noontime today, Rodrigo Duterte directed all department secretaries and agency heads to cut down on red tape in applications, registrations and other transactions the public has to do with government and, in general, endeavor to win the trust of the people in government service.
According to him, requirements and processing time should be reduced to a minimum, from submission to release. He likewise ordered the removal of redundant requirements, saying that compliance with one department or agency should be accepted as sufficient for all.
All departments and agencies were also asked to refrain from changing and bending the rules of government contracts, transactions and projects already approved and awaiting implementation.
“Changing the rules when the game is ongoing is wrong,” he stressed.
He asked for transparency in all government transactions from submission of proposals to negotiation to perfection and to consummation, saying he abhors secrecy.
“Do them and we will work together. Do not do them, we will part sooner than later.”
Earlier in his talk, he identified erosion of trust in government as the foremost problem confronting the country subservient to other plagues bedeviling society, including corruption, both in the high and low echelons of government, criminality in the streets, and the rampant sale of illegal drugs in all strata of Philippine society and the breakdown of law and order.
He vowed to fight these social problems as well as restore people’s faith in government. He said the fight will be relentless and sustained but at the same time gave an assurance about his adherence to the rule of law.
After all, he said at the beginning of his talk, “No leader, however strong, can succeed at anything of national importance or significance unless he has the support and cooperation of the people he is tasked to lead and sworn to serve.”
His administration, he added, will honor international treaties and obligations and is committed , domestically, to implement all signed peace agreements in step with constitutional and legal reforms.
After the inauguration and traditional vin d’honneur with diplomats, the new President will hold his first official meeting with members of his cabinet.
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