Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday called on local executives to “honor God” by cutting red tape and eliminating extortion in their respective areas.
“I have been speaking to other local government units, and sabi ko, ‘Honor God.’ Part of honoring God is loving others. One of the ways you do that is by making business easy, you know, y’ung walang extortion, walang every month hahalungkatin yan o pupuntahan yan,” Cayetano said in a live video posted on his Facebook page December 6.
(I have been speaking to other local government units, and I said, ‘Honor God.’ Part of honoring God is loving others. One of the ways you do that is by making business easy, you know, eliminating extortion, no monthly inspections or surprise visits to look into this or that.)
He said extortion and other forms of corruption still happen in many places across the country and that people are unwilling or unable to make formal complaints regarding these cases.
“Meron din po talaga nahuhuli over time, anywhere in the country, na nag-e-extort, and yun we have to deal with them very decisively. Ang nagiging problema madalas d’yan either y’ung ebidensya o kaya y’ung magte-testify, kasi minsan pati y’ung biktima gusto lang ma-settle y’ung problema pero not necessarily na mademanda,” Cayetano said.
(There are people who get caught in the act of extortion anywhere in the country, and we have to deal with them very decisively. But oftentimes the problem is either the lack of evidence or people willing to testify, because sometimes even the victims just want to settle and don’t want to get into litigation.)
The pointed to the experience of Taguig City where he identified the elimination of extortion as a key pillar of the city’s push to become one of the most business-friendly local governments in the country.
“Kung may hihingi ng pera sa inyo sa Taguig pagdating sa taxes, sa permits, sa regulations, bawal po yan. Hindi po authorized yan, anumang pangalan, anumang posisyon yan,” Cayetano said.
(If anyone asks money from you in Taguig when you’re taking care of taxes, permits, or dealing with regulations, that’s not allowed. That’s not authorized, whoever does it, whatever position they hold.)
Cayetano is the Representative of the Taguig-Pateros 1st District while his brother, Lino Cayetano, currently serves as mayor of Taguig City.
Taguig recently set up a ‘One-Stop Shop’ system, with service centers conveniently located within the city’s two largest shopping centers, where entrepreneurs can apply and follow-up on all the necessary paperwork for their businesses.
The One-Stop Shop centers also have customer service desks for complaints and people can direct any reports of extortion to the city treasurer or directly to the city mayor.
“One of our objectives is to make Taguig the place where it’s easiest to do business. What we’d like to see is that people want to live in Taguig and want to do business in Taguig,” Cayetano said.
“Sa ating mga businesses, we hope that we can serve you better. Ang taxes po ang bumubuhay sa mga proyekto at mga programa, at napakaraming kailangan gastusan,” he added.
(To our partner businesses, we hope that we can serve you better. Taxes are what give life to our projects and programs, and there is simply so much for us to invest in.)
Cayetano shared that one of the focus areas of the local government of Taguig is support for microenterprises, which is an advocacy he has been pursuing through the Sari-saring Pag-asa financial assistance program for small business owners.
“Gusto natin, lahat may hanapbuhay, whether trabaho or negosyo,” he said.
(We want everyone to have livelihoods, whether as employees or as entrepreneurs.)