How to send government complaints through text message

Jamaine Punzalan and Nika Lazo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 25 2020 04:22 PM | Updated as of Nov 25 2020 07:24 PM

A person uses a mobile phone in Quezon City, Aug. 16, 2020. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — The public can now send requests and concerns to the government through free text messages, Malacañang said Wednesday, as President Rodrigo Duterte's office sought to reform its complaints hotline.

Subscribers of Globe, Smart and their affiliate telcos can text 8888, without charges, to "raise their concerns, complaints and grievances on graft and corrupt practices by government officials and employees and slow and inefficient delivery of government services and requests for government assistance," said Duterte's spokesman Harry Roque. 

"Those who are corrupt, lazy, incompetent in the government, be forewarned. You are now one text away," he said. 

ABS-CBN News tried sending a text to 8888 and immediately got a reply with the following instructions.

  • For complaints, provide the agency's name and details of the problem. Giving your name is optional.
  • To appeal for help, reply with your name, type of assistance required, government agency you want to approach, and complete details of request. 
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The 8888 Citizens’ Complaint Center is under Duterte’s Strategic Action and Response Office, receives public complaints through its hotline and endorses these to concerned departments or agencies. 

State auditors in 2019 said the center reported a 269.44 percent accomplishment for 646,658 calls and referrals.

However, they said this figure did not include 792,685 calls abandoned in queue and those processed only in the “Interactive Voice Response,” which did not reach a live agent or call taker.

Duterte's office has begun instituting reforms to improve the center's services, the auditors said in a report.