BEGINNING February 1, the Office of the Ombudsman will charge fees for clearances to augment its funds for anti-corruption programs.
In a statement, the agency said the fee is justified since “most other government agencies have processing fees for licenses and clearances. I only hope the fees will be put to good use,” said an applicant who was interviewed by The Manila Times as he was paying for the clearance.
An Ombudsman clearance is an official document certifying that a person has no criminal, administrative or forfeiture case pending with the office.
If a pending case is recorded, the office shall instead issue a certification of pending case.
The clearance is usually requested by another government agency that is doing a background check on the applicant.
The processing fee for clearances for retirement purposes, rationalization, resignation or death claim is now at P100.
Processing fee for clearances for employment, promotion, transfer, appointment, confirmation, discharge, foreign assignment and grant of benefits unrelated to the preceding purpose is P150.
The clearance for foreign travel, foreign assignment, study grant or scholarship, recognition or awards, leave application, loan application, change of name and documentation for the Judicial Bar Council, Career Executive Service Board, Civil Service Commission, Professional Regulations Commission and other agencies is for P200.
The clearance for permit to carry firearms, fidelity bond and bidding requirement is at P500 while firearm license is at P1,000.
The processing fees were drawn up in 2012 but were indefinitely suspended until such time that the assessment and schedule of processing fees have been determined upon study and recommendation by the assistant ombudsman for finance. Applications filed before February 1 are still exempt from paying the processing fee.
At the Sandiganbayan, a processing fee of P100 is also imposed on clearances for whatever purpose the applicant is obtaining it for.
As in all courts, the processing fee is infused either for the judicial development fund or the special allowance for the judiciary for court upgrading and expenses or remitted back to the National Treasury as state revenue.