Palace AO 31 to raise gov't fees, Anakbayan warns

Posted at 10/17/12 11:53 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A Palace order calling on government offices to increase fee rates and impose new charges has drawn fire from youth activist group Anakbayan.

The Palace recently released Administrative Order No. 31, which was signed on October 1, which called on all government offices
to "rationalize the rates of their fees and charges, increase their existing rates and impose new fees and charges."

Anakbayan national chairperson Vencer Crisostomo, in a press statement, said the new memo "legitimized new forms of 'kotong and holdap' and turned government agencies into fund-raising entities."

"This is basically commercialization of government service. Ngayon pa lang, di na makatarungan ang paniningil sa ibang ahensya. Di ba
nagbabayad tayo ng buwis? Bakit sisingilin pa ang taumbayan para sa serbisyo publiko," Crisostomo said.

He said the memo, which will affect all government insitutions, is "height of insensitivity."

"Di na nga pinipigilan ang pagtataas ng presyo ng bilihin, yung mismong mga government offices pa ay makikikotong," Crisostomo said.

He urged Congress to investigate the memo and warned that they will campaign to stop the implementation of the memo.