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PIA Press Release
2009/06/10

Red tape-free gov't eyed via Anti-Red Tape Act

Butuan City (10 June) -- Government offices move a step closer to being red tape-free as over 250 agencies have completed their Citizen's Charters, set up Help Desks and launched anti-fixer measures in compliance with Republic Act No. 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA) of 2007.

This was reported yesterday by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) as it also reminded other public offices that they have only four months left or until September this year to comply with ARTA.

CSC Chair Ricardo L. Saludo pointed out that over half or 60% of the offices which complied with ARTA were local government units from various parts of the country. The Commission also disclosed that model provinces and cities have been identified in each of the regions to showcase best practices in frontline service delivery. These provinces are La Union, Cavite, Camarines Sur, Bohol, Northern Samar, Bukidnon, Cotabato, Agusan del Sur and Maguindanao. The model cities are Candon in Ilocos Sur, Santiago City in Isabela, San Fernando City in Pampanga, Tanauan in Batangas, Legazpi and Tabaco Cities in Albay, Toledo in Cebu as well as Baybay in Leyte, Zamboanga City, Iligan City, Tacurong City and Butuan City.

The Anti-Red Tape Act aims to improve public service specifically frontline services rendered by client-heavy agencies. It applies to all government offices including local government units and government owned and controlled corporations that provide frontline services. With the Act, lengthy procedures, unreasonable paper requirements and padded fees will hopefully be addressed and stopped.

Administrative Order No. 241, issued by the Office of the President in October 2008 identified priority government agencies in the implementation of the Anti-Red Tape Act in the National Capital Region. These priority agencies, which also have complied with ARTA, are the City Government of Manila, Bureau of Customs, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Bureau of Food and Drugs, Bureau of Fire Protection, Laguna Lake Development Authority, Bureau of Internal Revenue, and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation.

Chair Saludo said that the complete list of agencies which have complied with ARTA as of May 25 may be accessed through the Commission's website www.csc.gov.ph. He also urged the public to call or text CSC at 932-0111 and 0917-8398272 if agencies have been erroneously listed as having implemented ARTA. "The next step is to evaluate agencies' ARTA compliance, specifically the effectiveness of their charters, help desks and anti-fixer campaigns," the CSC Chief added.

ARTA requires all government offices to draw up a Citizen's Charter which identifies the frontline services offered, the step-by-step procedures, the employee responsible for each step, the amount of fees, the documents to be presented by the client and the procedure for filing complaints in relation to requests and applications. Prior to completing their charters however, government offices will have to review and evaluate their respective systems and procedures towards making transactions faster and easier for clients.

The Citizen's Charter must be posted as information billboards at the main entrance or most conspicuous place and in published materials. The law also requires the setting up of a public assistance and complaint desk and urges agencies to crack down on fixers.

The Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA) of 2007 took effect on September 5, 2008 following the issuance of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) by the Civil Service Commission under CSC Resolution No. 081471 dated July 24, 2008. Within one year from effectivity of the IRR, all government agencies should have set up or completed their respective Citizen's Charters. (CSC-13/PIA-Caraga) [top]

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