By Bernadette D. Nicolas, March 8 2019; Business Mirror

Image Credit to Rappler

After moving to speed up land conversion procedures, President Duterte now says he wants to meet with lawmakers, Office of the Ombudsman  and Commission on Audit (COA) officials to simplify auditing rules and procedures in the government.

The President said he wants to include congressmen in the discussion as he expressed frustration over too many cumbersome government requirements, as Duterte stressed he wants COA procedures to be simplified before the end of the year.

“So I just let it pass but maybe if I have time, I am so busy, I’d like to sit with the executive secretary and maybe invite some guys from the Ombudsman and [our] auditing office. And let’s agree on certain procedures,” Duterte said in a speech late Wednesday during the first anniversary of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission.

While he said he doesn’t want to insult COA Chief Michael G. Aguinaldo, he still labeled some COA auditors as “stupid,” or may katok or crazy.

“They are lost in a maze of so many requirements, [some COA officials] are really stupid,” he said.

Duterte added that he will not follow too many auditing regulations because it is “stupid.”

“I do not want to insult them. I have [a] healthy respect for…who is this guy Aguinaldo…before the end of the year I will just suggest and if it is accepted by all fine, if not then…I want to include Congress…,” he added.

The President also recalled that there was a time that COA filed a case against him when he was still a local government official, but he was later exonerated by the Supreme Court.

Mr. Duterte has since unleashed tirades against COA as he joked about kidnapping and torturing the commission’s personnel for making the life hard for local government officials.

He also earlier joked that a COA employee should be pushed down the stairs as he expressed frustration on the existing bureaucratic red tape hindering government response to calamities.