Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte issued a stern warning to Quezon City Hall employees who accept or ask for bribes from their QCitizen clients.
“Hindi natin palalampasin ang mga ganitong klaseng pang-aabuso at pagmamalabis sa ating mga QCitizen lalo na kung sangkot mismo ang ating mga kawani sa pamahalaan,” Mayor Belmonte stated.
At the same time, the mayor also vowed to go after city government clients who offer bribes, cut corners or circumvent the processes, laws and regulations of the government.
“Here in QC, we will never condone the ‘palakasan’ system. No one should dangle money or gifts in exchange for special favors or a shortcut to our processes. We have embraced digitalization so that everything is done expeditiously, eliminating red tape,” she added.
The statement was issued by Belmonte following an entrapment operation conducted by the QC Police District on Thursday, resulting in the arrest of two employees of City Treasurer’s Office.
According to the investigation, on April 18, 2023 a client of the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) applied for a Certificate of Retirement of Business. The suspects, a Revenue Examiner and an Administrative Aide, assessed the client’s requirements where he was charged the amount of P77,632.00 for the total amount of tax due before retirement. During the processing of his certificate, the suspects allegedly demanded P50,000.00 to fasttrack the release of his documents, on the condition that the “discounted rate” will not be provided with an official receipt.
The client filed a complaint against the two CTO employees at the QCPD, and an entrapment operation was conducted which led to the apprehension of the two employees.
A case was filed against the suspects in violation of Republic Act 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 before the QC Prosecutor’s Office on Friday (May 26).
“Pinapaalalahanan po natin ang publiko na mag-ingat at huwag makipag-transaksyon sa mga indibidwal na hihingan kayo ng ‘lagay’ kapalit ng pag-proseso ng inyong mga dokumento. I-report agad ang mga ito sa kapulisan o kaya tumawag sa Hotline 122 upang mabigyan ng agarang aksyon,” QCPD Director BGen. Nicholas Torre III said.
As per the Citizen’s Charter of the City Treasurer’s Office, the cost for Business Retirement Application depends on the line of business, gross sales, and area of business delinquency and/or deficiency taxes. Discounts are usually not available, unless mandated by applicable laws.
Meanwhile, Quezon City Human Resource and Management Department (HRMD) Head Atty. Noel Del Prado said that as civil servants, the respondents may be held administratively and criminally liable for the alleged illegal activity.
An internal investigation will also be conducted to look into the culpability of the employees.
“Corruption has no place in the City Government. We have a zero tolerance policy against corruption. We will not take this issue lightly and we will take appropriate measures to ensure that our public servants have integrity and are transparent because the constituents deserve the best services from us,” the Mayor said.