67 gov't agencies fail anti-red-tape test

By Michael Punongbayan, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 27 2014 02:09 AM | Updated as of Feb 27 2014 10:09 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Civil Service Commission (CSC) said 67 government offices failed in the anti-red-tape test it conducted in 2013.

The offices of the Land Registration Authority (LRA), Land Transportation Office (LTO) and National Prosecution Service (NPS) of the Department of Justice (DOJ) are the worst when it comes to frontline service delivery, according to results of the Report Card Survey (RCS) published in The STAR yesterday.

Thirteen offices of the LRA, including those in Cebu and Davao; nine LTO offices, including those in Olongapo and Tawi-Tawi; and eight NPS offices, including those in Cavite and Cebu received “Failed” ratings in the RCS.

The RCS covered 929 government offices nationwide and measured compliance with Republic Act 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA).

Interestingly, the LTO was among the top passers of the 2012 anti-red tape test, along with the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Social Security System (SSS).

This time, the 2013 RCS placed the LTO in the “Failed” category along with the SSS, which had five of its offices including those in Iloilo and in Lipa, Batangas failing the test.

The latest RCS results now place the offices of the Land Bank of the Philippines, Public Attorney’s Office and Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the “Excellent” category.

CSC Chairman Francisco Duque III said results of the 2013 test actually show a decrease in frontline service evaluation flunkers as compared to 2012 numbers.

Passers made up a majority of the surveyed offices, since 168 offices or 18 percent rated “Excellent;” 557 or 60 percent rated “Good;” and 101 or 11 percent rated “Acceptable.”

“We have seen a significant improvement in the passers. In 2012, 25 percent of offices surveyed failed the RCS. In the most recent survey, only seven percent failed,” Duque said.

The CSC said offices that obtained an excellent rating increased from eight percent in 2012 (50 service offices out of 599 surveyed) to 18 percent last year (168 service offices out of 929 surveyed).

Offices subjected to the anti-red tape test are chosen based on high-density and by targeting the most complained of service offices nationwide.

The CSC said clients are given the ARTA survey form right after they avail of a frontline service of a government office.

Government offices fail the RCS when it incurs a final score below 70, or if it fails in one of two core areas of ARTA.

Core 1, or compliance with ARTA provisions, checks if the frontline office has a Citizen’s Charter visible to transacting clients and an anti-fixing campaign, if frontline staff wear identification cards, if there are no hidden transaction costs, if there is a manned public assistance and complaints desk, and if the frontline unit observes the no noon break policy.

Core 2, or overall client satisfaction, checks the frontline service provider, service quality, physical setup, basic facilities and respondent-client satisfaction.

Offices which obtain a score of 90 to 100 are rated excellent; 80 to 89.99 good, and 70-79.99 acceptable.

Service offices that failed the RCS will undergo the Service Delivery Excellence Program, to be conducted by the CSC, to determine and address problem areas in frontline service delivery.

“As the bureaucracy’s human resource institution, the CSC takes a developmental stance in implementing the ARTA law. More than informing the public which offices passed or failed the annual ARTA Report Card Survey, the commission provides various HR and organization development training programs that will aid government agencies to improve their service delivery,” Duque said.

The CSC clarified that the failure of some offices of a particular government agency does not necessarily reflect on the agency as a whole because the anti-red tape test is office-specific.

As in the case of the SSS which ranked fifth among those who received failed grades in the 2013 RCS, another five of its offices including those in Calbayog and Cagayan de Oro City got excellent scores.