This was the revelation of President Rodrigo Duterte halfway into his term and vowed to sweep the bureaucracy clean.
The President admitted that corruption and red tape were still rampant in some government offices, lamenting instances of alleged bribery in exchange for faster public service.
“Ngayon, kung sinabihan — sabihin mo, ma-control ko ba ang corruption sa lahat, ito sasabihin ko sa ‘yo: ang Pilipinas is corrupt to the core [If you ask me if I can control corruption, I will tell you that the Philippines is corrupt to the core],” he bared during the PDP-Laban campaign rally in Malabon City recently.
“Ibang-ibang mesa ‘yan diyan sa city hall o kaya nasa national. Pagka dumaan ‘yang papel diyan, pera ‘yan. Eh ilang mesa ‘yan? [There are tables in city hall or even in national offices. When papers pass through these tables, money is paid. How many tables are there?],” he asked.
He bewailed that some are forced to pay grease money to facilitate the processing of permit applications. In Manila, the President noted the release of business permits is delayed by two to three months.
“Hindi ko maintindihan. Pabalik nang balik ang tao, balik nang balik. Kasi kung hindi ka talaga maglabas ng pera, hindi lalabas ‘yung papel (I can’t understand. People always come back because if you don’t really shell out money, the permit will not be released),” he said.
With corruption still prevalent in the bureaucracy, the President renewed his resolve to weed out erring public servants.
He warned anew state officials and workers not to get involved with any irregularity. He has dismissed some officials including allies to show his disdain for corruption.
“Pinaka-maintindi corruption sa mababa. Wala na kayong problema dito sa taas, sa Executive department, ‘yung mga Gabinete (Corruption is worse in the lower level of government. There is no more problem in the Executive level, the Cabinet),” he said.
“Sundan lang ninyo ako para malaman ninyo na talagang ‘yang corruption hintuin ko ‘yan (Watch me and see how I will stop corruption),” he said.
He also urged the public to be vigilant against corruption, asking them to report to his office any irregularity. He said he is ready to take action and address the complaint any time of the day.
“Sinabi ko sa mga tao, huwag kayong pumayag na kurakutin kayo. ‘Pag may ipagawa ka, tapos hiningian ka, sampalin mo [I’m telling the public, don’t be a party to corruption. If anyone extorts money from you, slap them],” he added. (Manila Bulletin)