Jail time, P2-M fine await anti-fixing violators: ARTA chief

Jail and hefty fines await individuals found guilty of involvement in fixing, Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) Director General Jeremiah Belgica warned on Tuesday.

Citing Republic Act No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, Belgica said anyone who offers fixing services or colludes with fixers will face one to six years of imprisonment with a fine of up to PHP2 million.

Offending government workers will also be dismissed from the service, disqualified from holding public service perpetually, and denied of retirement benefits.

Belgica stressed on these penalties following a news report of ABS-CBN about the arrest of a Caloocan City Hall employee for extorting PHP350,000 from an entrepreneur in exchange for the processing of business permit.

“Ang babala ko sa lahat ng taong gobyerno, wag manghihingi o magpapalagay ng pera. Gawin po natin ang trabaho natin ng marangal at maayos kundi paparusahan po kayo ng batas. Ang babala ko naman sa mga taong bayan, huwag nang makipagsabwatan sa fixer at huwag nang mag-alok ng pera (My warning to all government workers, don’t accept bribe money. Do our work properly and with integrity or else we will face the law. To our people, don’t deal with fixer and don’t offer money),” Belgica said.

ARTA is currently collaborating with the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) primary investigation arm, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), to create a comprehensive anti-fixer campaign. The two agencies are expected to launch it within the year.

“Pare-parehong may kaparusahan ang taong pribado at taong gobyerno sa usapin ng kurapsyon. Makipagtulungan po kayo sa amin. Isumbong niyo po para mawala na ang fixer (Both private and government individuals will face punishment when it comes to corruption. Cooperate with us. Gives us their names so that fixers will be eliminated),” he said.

Belgica also called on the public to report government anomaly to ARTA through its various complaint channels. Complainants may email ARTA at [email protected] or publicly post their photos and videos and use #iARTAnaYan in their respective Facebook accounts.

Source: Philippines News Agency