A detailed survey of government organizations and official as well as unofficial information about each is planned for 2005. For the meantime, here is a list of government agencies.


BJMP [Bureau of Jail Management and Penology]
This national government agency is doing a terrible job running Cebu City's jail, the BBRC, and the city's reputation gets the rap.

BIR [Bureau of Internal Revenue]
It is said that the number one way to make money in the Philippines is to work for Customs. The second is to work for the BIR. The way it works is, you still pay your taxes, but someone at the BIR fixes it so that they are lower than they should be by law. This is almost routine, and, of course, if you don't pay someone at the BIR to lower your taxes, you will be in a disadvantaged position vis-a-vis the competition.

COMELEC [Commission on Elections]
Overseas elections in the Philippines. Not too competent - the counting of votes takes weeks - but, as far as I know, relatively clean these days - a big improvement over the Marcos years.

DENR [Department of Environment and Natural Resources]
Seems to be doing a fairly good job. I haven't heard of any instances of environmentally protected areas being developed with the aid of massive bribes to the DENR.

DOTC [Department of Transportation and Communication]
Doesn't do much to help Smart and Globe unroll their communications networks; both giants have to deal with a lot of red tape to get approval for new towers, and the cost is presumably passed on to consumers rather than deducted from profits.

LTO [Land Transportation Office]
Issues driving licenses and vehicle registrations. Corrupt? Well, if you know someone who knows someone in the LTO - and everybody does - you don't need to pass the exam to get a license, and you can get any kind of vehicle registered.

NASTF [National Anti-Smuggling Task Force]
Coordinates with other agencies to crack down on smuggled rice, luxury cars, drugs, and used clothing.

NBI [National Bureau of Investigation]
Philippine equivalent of FBI. Extraordinarily incompetent by international standards, and very, very corrupt. A mafia organization with government ID's.

PEZA [Philippine Economic Zone Administration ]
Administers the 65 special economic zones nationwide, including the one in Mactan, Cebu. Some 1200 companies operate in the zones. Since PEZA has the power to kick companies out of the zones, corruption has been endemic. Director General de Lima has claimed to have instituted reforms to crack down on corruption.

PNP [Philippine National Police]
Inheritor of the constabulary. Generally, officers are tolerant, friendly, lazy, and corrupt.

Supreme Court
The supreme judicial authority. Headed by Cebu's native son Judge Davide.


BBRC [Bagong Buhay Rehabilitation Center]
This is Cebu City's main prison. It's overcrowded and frequently in the news because of rampant drug smuggling and abuse. It's not under the municipal government's jurisdiction, though.

MCWD [Metro Cebu Water District]
That's why Cebuanos refer to tap water as "MC."


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