By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — As if the enactment of his Anti-Red Tape Law was not enough,
Partido Reporma chairman and standard-bearer Panfilo “Ping” Lacson has
expressed his intention to rationalize the entire civil service system
in the country in order to achieve maximum public sector efficiency.
Lacson came across the idea during a virtual forum with members of the
American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc., Wednesday
(November 3). He was asked which aspects in the existing government
bureaucracy does he plan to refine or do away with completely.
“I think right now we have a bloated bureaucracy. Something must be
done. And, you know, the civil service system in this country is not
as good as the civil service system in other countries particularly in
Europe,” Lacson replied.
The incumbent senator and presidential aspirant cited his observations
in the event of a “hung parliament” under the Westminster system of
a government where state legislatures still function satisfactorily even
in the absence of a ruling majority because of a “very strong civil
Civil servants working in that system are independent and
non-partisan, who can implement the decisions of an elected
government. They hold permanent appointments and can expect
merit-based selection processes and continuity of employment when
In view of this, Lacson said he wants to introduce some necessary
upgrades to the recruitment processes and policies of the Civil
Service Commission (CSC) to find, develop, and encourage more highly
skilled individuals who can work for the government.
“We need to modernize our civil service. We need to create a program
to attract the best and talented recruits. Again, corruption is at the
center of all these challenges and issues,” the Partido Reporma
Lacson is running for president in the 2022 elections and one of his
campaign agenda is to instill bureaucratic discipline across the board
in every public office including government-owned and -controlled
At the heart of his advocacies is the elimination of the culture of
corruption, which he championed in some of the successful legislative
measures he authored in the Senate, including Republic Act No. 9485 or
the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 during the 13th Congress.
The Anti-Red Tape Law sought to promote integrity, accountability,
and proper management of public affairs and public property by way of
establishing effective practices aimed at the prevention of graft and
corruption in government.
Under the law, all government offices and agencies which provide
frontline services to the public were mandated to regularly undertake
time and motion studies, and improve their transaction systems and
procedures to reduce bureaucratic red tape and processing time.
Some of its provisions have been amended and the entire law is now
known to the public as the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient
Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, which led to the creation of
the Anti-Red Tape Unit at the CSC and the Anti-Red Tape Authority. (ai/mtvn)