150 gov't offices flunk red tape test

By Michael Punongbayan, The Philippine Star

Posted at Apr 16 2013 08:17 AM | Updated as of Apr 16 2013 04:17 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Some 150 government offices failed a test for red tape conducted by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) last year.

Among the offices that flunked in the Report Card Survey (RCS) published in The STAR yesterday were the Government Service Insurance System (27 branches), Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Butuan City branch), Philippine Postal Corp. (Butuan City branch), National Bureau of Investigation (ARMM and Butuan City branches), Bureau of Fire Protection (Baguio City branch) and eight branches of the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

The BOC, currently under fire for perceived failure to curb smuggling, was among the government offices that failed miserably in the RCS.

The CSC surveyed 11 BOC regional offices nationwide and only its office in the Port of Manila earned a rating of “good,” while two offices located in Batangas and the Mactan Airport got an “acceptable” score.

BOC offices in the subports of Mariveles in Bataan and Cavite, Kalibo International Airport, Mindanao International Container Port, Manila International Container Port, Ninoy Aquino International Airport Pair Cargo, General Santos City, and Davao failed the evaluation.

The CSC listed 449 government offices that passed, with the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), the Department of Trade and Industry, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), the Social Security System, and the Land Transportation Office leading the list.

CSC chairman Francisco Duque III said 50 offices obtained an “excellent” rating, the highest in the scale with scores between 90 and 100.

Some 308 government agencies got a rating of “good” for scores ranging between 80 to 90, while 90 others received an “acceptable” rating for scores ranging from 70 to 79.

The 150 offices that failed got a score of below 70.

The CSC bared the results of the RCS two months ago but did not reveal the details until yesterday.

Duque said that there are many ways to look at the results of the RCS, so the offices that failed in the test should not be condemned as flunkers.

Duque said that in the cases of the BFP, CAAP, PhilPost and NBI, for instance, only one or two of their offices were evaluated, which explains why all these agencies registered a grade of “100 percent failed.”

On the contrary, the BIR passed the RCS with 11 of its offices earning a grade of excellent, 60 receiving a good mark, 19 getting a grade of acceptable, while 12 other offices failed.

Duque explained that government agencies were rated based on their compliance with the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA) of 2007.

The CSC surveyed the government offices based on their frontline services delivery, service quality, physical working condition, and overall client satisfaction.

Also checked was the observance of the “No Noon Break” policy; presence of a public assistance desk/center; availability of basic facilities such as comfortable waiting areas and comfort rooms; and special lane for persons with disabilities, pregnant women, and the elderly.

The law, Duque said, also requires agencies to post their Citizen’s Charter which lists the frontline services offered, step-by-step procedures, time needed to complete the transaction, requirements, and amount of fees.

Government employees found accepting money, favors or gifts from clients – even if they willingly give these – would still be violating ARTA and face imprisonment not exceeding six years or a fine of not less than P20,000 but not more than P200,000, or both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court.

“Our anti-red tape campaign is gaining ground based on the results of the CSC’s Report Card Survey which are actual client observations,” Duque said.

“We need the public’s support in our moves to improve public service delivery, thus we welcome their comments and feedback. Our ultimate goal is renewed confidence from citizens on the quality of government services,” he added.

The public is encouraged to report ARTA violations to the CSC Public Assistance Center through telephone (02) 932-0111, through text messaging via 0917-TEXTSC (8398272), or through the Contact Center ng Bayan at 0908-8816565 or 1-65-65.