What constitutes violation of Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007

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Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
I am having difficulty completing all of my tax requirements to transfer the title of a piece of land to my name. I was wondering if it would be alright for me to approach someone who says he can expedite the processing of my paperwork in the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Land Registration Authority (LRA) and local civil registrar?
Sincerely yours,
Fox

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Dear Fox,

Please be informed, that under Section 4 of the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007, such a person would be defined as
a “fixer,” viz:
“SEC. 4. Definition of Terms – As used in this Act, the following terms are defined as follows:
xxx xxx xxx

g) “Fixer” refers to any individual whether or not officially involved in the operation of a government office or agency who has access to people working therein, and whether or not in collusion with them, facilitates speedy completion of transactions for pecuniary gain or any other advantage or consideration.”

Furthermore, Sections 11 and 12 of the aforestated law define such being a “fixer” as a grave offense, and prescribe the appropriate penalties for such violations:

“SEC. 11. Violations—After compliance with the substantive and procedural due process, the following shall constitute violations of this Act together with their corresponding penalties:
xxx xxx xxx(b)

Grave Offense—Fixing and/or collusion with fixers in consideration of economic and/or other gain or advantage.
Penalty – Dismissal and perpetual disqualification from public service.

SEC. 12. Criminal Liability for Fixers – In addition to Sec. 11 (b), fixers, as defined in this Act, shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment not exceeding six years or a fine not less than P20,000 but not more than P200,000 or both fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court.”

Clearly, therefore, approaching any person to expedite the processing of your paperwork, with the BIR, LRA, local civil registrar, or any other government agency, would be a violation of the aforestated law, and punishable as a criminal offense.

Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.

We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.

Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@manilatimes.net

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