[ Red tape is an idiomatic expression that usually refers to excessive regulation or rigid conformity to formal rules mostly observed in government bureaus that is so redundant as it hinders quick decision-making. In my more than 60 years existence in our country, the Philippines; President-elect Rody Duterte has seemingly loomed to be the only would-be President who have personally tackled this problem with much passion and dedication. Critics have described President-elect Duterte as some kind of small-town-thinking leader; but undeniably, the basic things which a small-town-thinking leader would work on are those that are close to the heart and to the purse-strings of the common people.]

In one of those cuss-filled press conferences called out by President-elect Rody Duterte, President-elect Duterte lamented that in most instances particularly with respect to dealings with both the Social Security System (SSS) and the Government Service and Insurance System (GSIS), claims for monetary benefits would usually take as long as two (2) years to be released. For which reason, he has announced that this practice of a long and uneasy wait for benefits, mostly death benefits for lowly employees being followed up by their surviving heirs, must end. 

President-elect Duterte even narrated about the usual tale of a widow following the death benefits of her husband and at times, the unfortunate death of the widow would even precede the release of the death benefits for the husband.

Thus, President-elect Duterte announced that he will shorten the processing period to at most ONE (1) month and that he would reduce the number of signatures in the processing of the claims to a maximum of FIVE (5) signatures ONLY.

President-elect Duterte also said that he will institutionalize a system whereby government processing for the release of needed and customarily much-sought-after documents, to a maximum of 72 hours.

And that if the government functionary would be unable to beat the 72-hour deadline, an explanation must as a matter of course, be appended to the applied-for-document that will eventually be released.

President-elect Duterte also deplored the nasty practice which has seemed to still be de rigueur in some bureaus of the  government particularly the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). It would appear that in most instances 48 signatures are being required for the processing of claims for payments. President-elect Duterte has planned to reduce the number of signatories to just FIVE (5).

Indeed, President-elect Duterte has emerged to be the only would-be leader of the Philippine bureaucracy who has called the attention of government bureaucrats to this kind of a loathsome case of bureaucratic red-tape.

Also, and most importantly so, President-elect Duterte appears to be the only would-be leader who has shown much passion and who has mustered all the courage to confront the drug menace head on.

What has indeed loomed is that past administrations did not even flex its muscle to show some political will to rid the country of the drug menace. Now, with President-elect Duterte at the helm of government by noon of June 30, 2016 more changes and not mere the cutting of the detestable red tape, are expected to happen. Indeed, on hindsight, the leader of the past administration never ever uttered any pronouncement against the illegal drug trade. This has been espied in the past administration’s full 6-year term as it reigned supreme with seeming nonchalance displayed by the country’s chief steward. Once again, this, despite the fact that the illegal drug trade has grown to be some kind of an insurmountable and colossal problem.

Let us all support President-elect  Duterte and let us continuously pray for his Divine guidance, for his safety and for his good health.

Long live the Philippines! Long live President-elect Rody Duterte!




  1. Hello! Thank you for your post. While it does make me hopeful, I’m wondering when it will be implemented.

    Our yaya has been trying to get death claim benefits for her children, whose father passed away 7 years ago. it has been a gruesome back and forth process and yet each time she comes back to SSS, there’s a new document being asked for (early school records of her children, a notarized explanation from the husband’s siblings on why the youngest child was registered late in his birth certificate in spite of NSO approval, a SECOND three month investigation on whether or not the father was previously married). We have already heard, “hinahanda na po ang amount” so many times, only to hear, “under evaluation pa ho” again.

    I’ve heard good reviews about 8888 but when we did make a complaint, the answer we kept getting was that the case has “already been forwarded to the SSS president.”

    Now, the last time yaya went to SSS, they said only the youngest child can receive the benefit because it’s only his birth certificate that has the father’s signature. But this has never been a requirement as I have never even signed my own child’s birth certificate! Also, she has been submitting all documents for her beneficiary children all these years and from the very start, they have never said that the others are not qualified.

    Is there any hope or real change for marginalized like her? And if you don’t mind me asking, is there anything else we can do to help her family rightfully claim what is theirs?

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