The Civil Service Commission (CSC) reiterates agency compliance of the Republic Act (RA) No. 9485, also known as the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA) of 2007, through the release of CSC Memorandum Circular No. 9, s. 2014. CSC Chairman Francisco T. Duque III emphasized that the head of office or agency shall be primarily responsible for the implementation of the ARTA.
The Department of Education exerted positive efforts in the adoption and implementation of ARTA consistent to DepEd Memorandum No. 342, s. 2009 in the DepEd Central Office, Regional Offices, Division Offices, Districts and public schools. Further, DepEd Order No. 37, s. 2013 was also issued which required the submission of compliance reports of its field offices and schools to the DepEd Central Office last October 2013.
Actions were taken in the Malaybalay City Division like the creation of the Division ARTA Corner in the Division official website (www.depedmalaybalay.net/about-us/arta-corner) which contains downloadable information. Moreover, MCD complied with the requirement stipulated in DepEd Order No. 37, s. 2013 like the provision of public assistance desk, Citizen’s Charter, information billboard, vision and mission statements and core values, performance pledge, feedback mechanism, no noon break policy, anti-fixer campaign, contact center ng bayan, wearing of identification card, among others.
Although Duque (2014) gave emphasis on “command of responsibility”, the author believes that the agency’s compliance to ARTA is a collaborative effort by both the head of office or agency and employees. Hence, it is important to consider the purpose of this law which states “to promote integrity, accountability, proper management of public affairs and public property as well as to establish effective practices aimed at the prevention of graft and corruption in government. Towards this end, the State shall maintain honesty and responsibility among its public officials and employees, and shall take appropriate measures to promote transparency in each agency with regard to the manner of transacting with the public, which shall encompass a program for the adoption of simplified procedures that will reduce red tape and expedite transactions in the government (Section 2 of RA 9485).”
With the aim in view, it is imperative to be reminded on the following important provisions and the implementing rules and regulations of the ARTA as reiterated by the Commission in the CSC MC No. 9, s. 2014:
- The Citizen’s Charter, an information billboard listing the step-by-step procedure of services available, the person responsible for each step, time needed to transact, documents required, and fees, should be posted at the main entrance or most conspicuous place in the office written either in English, Filipino, or in the local dialect.
- The office or agency shall review the Citizen’s Charter whenever necessary but not less than once every two years.
- Heads of offices or agencies which render frontline services shall adopt appropriate working schedules to ensure that all clients who are within their premises prior to the end of official working hours are attended to and served even during lunch break and after regular working hours.
- Officers or employees at the frontlines or those directly transacting with the clients shall wear an official identification card.
- Offices shall establish a public assistance and complaints desk which should be manned during working hours.
- Fixing and collusion with fixers are considered grave offenses with a corresponding penalty of dismissal and perpetual disqualification from public service. Penalties for fixers are imprisonment not exceeding six years, a fine of not more than PhP200,000, or both fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court.
Moreover, the CSC will conduct the Report Card Survey, an annual nationwide client satisfaction survey, to check the agency’s compliance which reflects the numerical and adjectival rating of the agency, that is, 90-100 (Excellent/Outstanding), 80-89 (Good), 70-79 (Acceptable), and 0-69 (Failed). Agencies with excellent rating can be subjected for the Citizen’s Satisfaction Center Seal of Excellence Award (CSC-SEA) and shall be subjected to a series of further validation.
Aligned with the DepEd’s thrust, MCD’s compliance of the ARTA serves as one of the mechanism in improving excellent public service and customer satisfaction particularly in the provision of quality, accessible and efficient educational programs and services. As quoted by Duque (2014), the end goal of ARTA is excellent public service and customer satisfaction. With deepen understanding and emphasis on the implementation of ARTA, the author believes that the agency’s compliance would gear towards the attainment of the DepEd’s thrust. Hence, district and school administrators are hereby challenged to update their ARTA compliance in consonance to the CSC MC No. 9, s. 2014.
By: Jutchel L. Nayra, DPA
Administrative Officer V