BALANGA CITY — Stepping into the new World War II-themed government center, President Rodrigo R. Duterte expressed admiration on the provincial government’s success to cut red tape through good governance and public-private partnership (PPP).
The President led the inauguration of the Bataan Government Center and Business Hub, also called The Bunker, whose modern design pays homage to the gallant stand of Bataan as the country’s final bastion against foreign invasion 77 years ago.
“I’m really amazed, totally amazed, by the arrangement that you have made and you were able to perfect the public and private participation,” he said.
President Duterte said The Bunker is one of the few success stories of PPP in the country.
“Let me tell you, in scale of one to 10, maybe Bataan has reached its apex in governance at about 8. Other (provinces) are still stuck at one,” he said.
Brandishing his renowned mantra against corruption, the President carped at the red tape in public transactions that “make up the ugly face of government,” citing that the repetitive process in obtaining clearances from state offices breeds corruption.
“In The Bunker, the ping-pong of transactions is eliminated as frontline national government agencies, provincial government departments and banks are housed in this one-stop-shop, citizen center,” Governor Albert Garcia said.
He said the establishment of the center running under one system is Bataan’s contribution to the national campaign on ease of doing business and against red tape.
“All of the offices that you will be needing for the delivery of fast and hassle-free frontline services will be located in this Bunker,” Garcia said.
“Not a single centavo from government coffers was spent during the construction of this majestic structure,” he added.
Pegged at PhP1.3 billion, The Bunker is built through PPP with Malaysian construction company AlloyMTD, which will lease the spaces for a concession period of 25 years.
The facility has seven floors, six service lifts and a spiral helix ramp that leads to prospective government offices such as Department of Labor and Employment, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Pag-IBIG Fund, Philippine Statistics Authority, National Bureau of Investigation, Land Transportation Office, Department of Trade and Industry, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, Social Security System, Bureau of Immigration, Tourism Infrastructure Enterprise Zone Authority, Commission on Higher Education, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, and Securities and Exchange Commission as well as banks such as Landbank, Development Bank of the Philippines and Philippine Veterans Bank.