Mayor Darwin Estrañero on Wednesday bared improvements in the local government’s processes, initially with the Business Permits and Licensing Office, as new systems are put in place. “We minimize the number of days to only about three to five when the documents (submitted) are complete so that the clients will be encouraged to process
their permits,” he said in a phone interview. Estrañero, who returned to work last April 1 after serving a six-month preventive suspension and upon the dismissal of graft charges filed against him before the Office of the Ombudsman, said he used the six-month period to review the functions and services of the different departments of the city hall.

He said Tabuk City is one of the local government units (LGUs) that implemented an automated system in
processing permits, yet movement of documents from one office to another remains slow. “Audit trail of documents
is not efficient,” he said. “We are addressing this. We hope to see the changes in the next few weeks.” Meanwhile, Estrañero said he was also informed about the need to look into the city’s transportation system as well as the peace and order situation, particularly the safety of commuting students.

“I used my vacation in good use to look into the operation of the city and now that I am back, I will make sure that what I saw during my review will be implemented to make our services better,” he said during a press conference in Tabuk City on Monday. Estrañero was suspended starting October 2023 due to charges of graft and corruption that emanated from the purchase of supplies during the pandemic. On March 27, 2024, the Office of the Ombudsman issued an order dismissing his case and ordering his return to office effective April 1.

(Liza Agoot/PNA)

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