De Lima wants Senate probe of 8888 gov’t hotline’s effectivity
Sen. Leila De Lima called on Monday for a Senate probe on the implementation of 8888 Complaint Hotline to ensure its effectivity and accessibility.
De Lima has filed Senate Resolution No. 550 urging the appropriate committee to look into the purported failure of the hotline in attending to concerns and complaints grievances about corruption in government offices.
“Congress has the responsibility to conduct a probe and study the implementation of 8888 Complaint Hotline as to its effectivity and equal accessibility to all citizens,” De Lima, a human rights defender, said in a statement.
“Every peso of Filipino taxpayers’ money must be spent on programs and government services that actually work and are responsive to their needs, and not on programs launched merely to cosmetically or superficially fulfill campaign promises,” the former justice secretary added.
However, according to reports, most calls were not corruption complaints, if not “unserved.”
Despite this, 54,743 calls were recorded from August to December 2016 but failed to accommodate 1.4 million calls because the hotline was “undermanned.”
“As reported, aside from the challenges in accessing the citizens’ complaint hotline, many concerned citizens have also expressed their dismay about the implementation of the program, particularly since telephone companies charge them a fee of around ₱5.00 per minute if they call the hotline from their mobile phones,” De Lima said.
“While there is no charge if they call via landline, this program is still not accessible to all, especially because not everyone has an access to landlines and prepaid mobile phone users would not be able to access the hotline either by call or SMS if they have no remaining credits,” she added.
The 8888 Complaint Hotline is a 24-hour service to report corrupt officials, underperforming government personnel, and unfinished government projects.
In 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 6 “to institutionalize a public complaints hotline involving all agencies of the government, and build on existing public feedback mechanisms for the realization of the government’s policy to eradicate red tape and corruption.” /je
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