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Recto files bill freezing hikes in gov’t fees

Senate Minority Leader Ralph G. Recto yesterday sought a six-year moratorium on all increases in government fees and charges on passports, drivers’ licenses, permits, and other government documents to “provide relief for our countrymen who can barely afford to avail of these services.”

Recto made the call after filing a bill, “Iwas Dagdag Singil at Bilis Serbisyo Act,’’ which seeks to impose the moratorium “in the meantime that the government pursues systems and procedures improvement for better delivery of government services.”

The six-year moratorium, according to Recto, would spare Filipinos from spending more on inefficient government service.

Recto noted that the national government and local government units have been collecting more than P53 billion yearly from fees derived in the regulation of certain activities such as the issuance of various licenses and permits, regulation of the different professions, and the issuance of passports and drivers’ license, among others.

The Bureau of Treasury reported that the national government collected P36.406 billion in 2015 from fees and charges for services rendered.

The Bureau of Local Government Finance, in its 2014 Annual Report released last October, also reported that local government units, through the BLGF Revenue Generation Program, collected P17.36 billion in fees and charges for 2014, exceeding their targets and posting a collection efficiency of 104.20 percent. (Mario B. Casayuran)

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