Mayor suspended under Anti Red Tape Act for inaction | Inquirer News

Mayor suspended under Anti Red Tape Act for inaction

/ 12:05 AM December 11, 2016

DUMAGUETE CITY—In a rare case of  violation of a little-known law that penalizes government red tape, the Ombudsman ordered the suspension of a mayor for failing to issue a business permit within the 10-day period set by the law.

In a seven-page decision approved by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales on Nov. 2, the Office of the Ombudsman suspended Mayor Mercedes T. Goni of Bais City for simple neglect of duty.

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The Ombudsman order also required Goni to attend a values orientation program, which is part of penalties set by Republic Act No. 9485, or Anti Red Tape Act, for violation of the law.

The Ombudsman order would be sent to the Department of the Interior and Local Government, which has jurisdiction over local government officials, for enforcement.

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The Ombudsman order was part of the ruling on a complaint filed by Ian Cody Katipunan, who applied for a mayor’s permit for a radio station in Bais.

Katipunan first submitted his application for a mayor’s permit on July 31, 2013. He was not granted the permit for failing to submit complete documents.

NTC permit

But Katipunan’s radio station, Beat Radio, went on air on Dec. 8, 2013, with a provisional authority to operate from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

Goni issued a cease and desist order on Feb. 3, 2014, which Katipunan complied with. He resumed operations on Nov. 14, 2015, through another permit from the NTC.

On Jan. 4 this year, Goni again reminded Katipunan that he could not operate without a mayor’s permit. Katipunan applied for a permit two days later.

After no permit was issued after 10 days, Katipunan filed the case against Goni for neglect of duty and violation of RA 9485.

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He said he complied with all the requirements and had paid all the fees.

Goni belied the claim of Katipunan that she did not act on the permit application.

Explanation insufficient

She told the Ombudsman that on Jan. 7, a day after she received the application, she ordered the office of the city engineer and city planning and development office to check the records and look into the legal consequences of the application and update her on the status of the complainant’s first application.

She also endorsed the application to the city council for approval. Katipunan, said the mayor, had been given regular updates on the status of his application.

The Ombudsman found the mayor’s explanation to be insufficient, though.

The law, said the Ombudsman, required the mayor to inform applicants for permits “in writing why she could not act on the application within the 10-day period.”

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TAGS: Anti-Red Tape Act, Beat Radio, Conchita Carpio-Morales, government bureaucracy, Ian Cody Katipunan, Mercedes T. Goñi, Office of the Ombudsman
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