Duterte meets with Congress leaders over anti-corruption, red tape measures

Katrina Domingo and Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 16 2020 08:42 PM | Updated as of Sep 16 2020 09:24 PM

MANILA - (UPDATE) President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday met with the heads of the Senate and the House of Representatives over measures that would "cut red tape and corruption", said his former longtime aide, Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go.

Go, who joined the meeting, said it was Duterte who invited Senate President Vicente Sotto III and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano in Malacanang.

House Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez was also present.

"With 1 year (and) 9 months to go na lang term nya, gusto nya mabawasan if not totally eliminate red tape (and) corruption," Go, referring to Duterte, told reporters.

(With just a year and 9 months left in his term, he wants to reduce if not totally eliminate red tape and corruption.)

"Willing PRRD patawag as resource person if kailangan... [in] both houses," he added.

(The President is willing to appear as a resource person if needed in both houses of Congress.)

"Sabi nga PRRD ipa-summon siya [pero] sabi ni SP (Senate President), 'wag naman summon, invite lang as resource person."

(The President told them to summon him, but SP said that he would just be invited as a resource person.)

Go has yet to respond to queries if the President is keen on certifying as urgent particular measures that would cut red tape in government.

When asked what issue prompted the meeting, Go said: "Lahat na po (All issues combined)."

In July, Duterte mandated all government agencies to fully transition its services online and make "physical queue a thing of the past."

In the same month, the President also told telecommunication companies to report government agencies that hamper the construction of cell sites in the country.

Go said the House Speakership was not tackled in the meeting.

Cayetano has a term-sharing agreement, as endorsed by Duterte, with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco that is set to take effect next month.

- with reports from Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN News