The national government is set to implement a complete upgrade of citizens’ complaint hotline 8888 which was established to address inefficiencies and corruption in government.
This was bared by Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco, Jr. on Tuesday during the 297th founding anniversary of Dauis town where he was once a parish priest.
According to Evasco who was tasked to supervise the complaint center, efforts to improve the hotline is expected to start in September.
The former Maribojoc mayor said that he has started to coordinate with telecommunications firms mandated to connect 8888 calls to the Civil Service Commission and Presidential Action Citizens Complaint Center.
Evasco admitted that only a few complaints have been conveyed through the hotline due to needed upgrades in its system.
After improvements are made, the public can call the hotline any time of the day, he said.
Callers may report projects that are not properly implemented by officials and those who abuse their government positions.
There will be no fees for calls and texts made to the hotline.
However, a maintaining balance of P1 is needed to contact the complaint desk, said Evasco.
The hotline was institutionalized through Executive Order (EO) No. 6 shortly after President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office.
“There is a need to institutionalize a public complaints hotline involving all agencies of the government and build on existing public feedback mechanisms for the realization of the government’s policy to eradicate red tape and corruption,” Duterte said in the EO.
Duterte previously said that failure of a government agency to promptly respond to citizens’ complaints through the hotline would merit administrative sanctions.
However, almost a year after its establishment, the hotline’s system is still up for improvements.
In an opinion piece, Philippine Star columnist Jairus Bondoc said that some 1.4 million calls last year “were un-served because the citizens either abandoned the call or couldn’t wait in queue.” (A. Doydora)