Higher gov't fees may be forthcoming

by Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN news

Posted at Oct 22 2012 11:20 PM | Updated as of Oct 23 2012 07:35 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) - Government is awaiting the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Administrative Order 31 signed by President Benigno Aquino earlier this month.

Under AO 31, state agencies including government-owned and controlled corporations are allowed to increase existing fees and impose new charges if needed.

Among the state agencies that are expected raise fees are the Department of Foreign Affairs, National Statistics Office, National Bureau of Investigation, Land Registration Authority, Professional Regulation Commission, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Department of Trade and Industry, and the National Telecommunication Commission.

However, Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the AO is not a green light for government agencies to arbitrarily impose the increase.

"What happened before kasi is each agency will just decide to raise their fees, ano, and we don't want to do with that. We want to rationalize everything. We want to make it sure that the fees, if it is going to be imposed, should be reasonable and should be, there should be a basis for doing so," he said.

Lacierda said an increase in fees is necessary since many have not been increased for years.

"I think, under this administration there has been no increases but there is a need to" he said.

The fees, according to Lacierda, would be used to maintain the agencies.