MANILA - Five government agencies were identified as the main subject of complaints sent through a helpline started by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) last year.
Since its inception in August, the CSC got the most complaints regarding the following agencies and issues:
- Social Security System (SSS) – Release of pensions and benefits
- Land Transportation Office (LTO) – Issuance of plates and licenses
- Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) – Loan granting
- Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) – Processing of papers
- Land Registration Authority (LRA) – Land title issuance
However, Mica Manocson, team leader for the government's "Contact Center ng Bayan" or Hotline 8888, said that they also received calls about loitering dogs and loud videoke machines, which are not part of the CSC’s mandate. They refer these calls to appropriate agencies.
It is difficult to attend to complaints, said Bernard Antonio, who is in charge of answering complaints via text message. Despite difficulties, he said that it is rewarding when they get calls from complainants who thank them for their help.
According to Civil Service Chairperson Alicia dela Rosa-Bala, the CSC receives no less than 1,000 complaints from the public per day, or more than 300 calls per shift. Their helpdesk is manned by three shifts daily, except during national holidays.
Of more than 300 calls they receive daily, around 20 percent or 60 calls come from those whose complaints were already addressed and settled, she said.
Complaints against government agencies, officials, and employees vary from inaction on submitted requests or applications, slow processing of papers, snubs by civil servants, irritable employees, fee overcharging, and presence of so-called “fixers” who promise quick service in exchange for cash.
All reports are forwarded directly to the Office of the President.
For record-keeping purposes, callers are requested, but not required, to give their name, address, and contact number, which are kept confidential by the CSC as part of their rules, Bala said.
After giving the details of their complaint, callers are given a “ticket number” along with information that their case must be acted upon by the concerned agency or official within five days. Complainants are not required to personally appear during the CSC’s investigation.
“Dapat sa loob ng limang araw may kasagutan na ang ahensya sa amin…may feedback na sila sa amin ng ginawa nila. Minsan sila ang tumatawag at nagbibigay sa amin ng feedback,” Bala said.
(We should get progress updates from an agency within five days. Sometimes they are the ones who call to give us feedback.)