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CSC reiterates implementation of ARTA

CSC's anti-red tape promotional material
CSC’s anti-red tape promotional material

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – “The head of office or agency shall be primarily responsible for the implementation of the Anti-Red Tape Act,” said Civil Service Commission (CSC) Chairman Francisco T. Duque III upon the release of CSC Memorandum Circular No. 9, s. 2014 reiterating agency compliance with the landmark law aimed at curbing red tape and improving frontline service delivery.

“It is command responsibility,” added Chairman Duque, detailing that appropriate charges may be filed against the head of office or agency in case of failure to comply with the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA) rules.

The memo enumerated other pertinent provisions of the ARTA and its implementing rules and regulations.

The Citizen’s Charter, an information billboard listing the step-by-step procedure of services available, the person responsible for each step, time needed to transact, documents required, and fees, should be posted at the main entrance or most conspicuous place in the office written either in English, Filipino, or in the local dialect.

The office or agency shall review the Citizen’s Charter whenever necessary but not less than once every two years.

Heads of offices or agencies which render frontline services shall adopt appropriate working schedules to ensure that all clients who are within their premises prior to the end of official working hours are attended to and served even during lunch break and after regular working hours.

Officers or employees at the frontlines or those directly transacting with the clients shall wear an official identification card.

Offices shall establish a public assistance and complaints desk which should be manned during working hours.

Fixing and collusion with fixers are considered grave offenses with a corresponding penalty of dismissal and perpetual disqualification from public service. Penalties for fixers are imprisonment not exceeding six years, a fine of not more than PHP200,000, or both fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court.

The end goal of ARTA is excellent public service and customer satisfaction. The public must see improvements in their overall experience in transacting with government.

CSC already started the Report Card Survey for 2014, an annual nationwide client satisfaction survey to check agency compliance with ARTA. The following service offices shall be subjected to the survey: Bureau of Internal Revenue, Government Service Insurance System, Home Development Mutual Fund, Land Registration Authority, Land Transportation Office, Philippine Statistics Authority – National Statistics Office, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, Professional Regulation Commission, and Social Security System.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.