Widespread government red tape still prevalent

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Widespread government red tape still prevalent

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The Civil Service Commission (CSC) Bohol Field Office Director Elizabeth Mateo urged clients of government agencies to report incidents of red tape and graft and corruption to bolster efforts to improve public service and minimize unnecessary delays in government transactions.

Plodding inefficiencies in government services continue to hound clients despite the CSC Anti Red Tape Act (ARTA) Watch conducted in various government offices to promote and monitor compliance of agencies providing frontline services.

Mateo appealed to the public to immediately report delays in official transaction to a hotline no. 09088816565 or the CSC Bohol landline no. 5017046 dedicated to handling complaints against perceived delays in the delivery of services by the government agencies.

A daily occurrence in government service greets clients with long waits, excuses “the head of office is in a seminar or meeting”, obsession with procedures, political cronyism or political hacks hired for their loyalty rather than merit and a culture that breeds the psychology of a red tape mentality.

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According to Mateo, RA 9485 known as the Anti Red Tape Act of 2007 signed on September 5, 2008 by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has achieved a certain degree of success as shown by glowing reports of several government agencies awarded for public service excellence.

However, in terms of ease of doing business, a World Bank report showed that the Philippines stands at 103rd globally among 189 countries way behind Vietnam, .Thailand and Malaysia but slightly ahead of Indonesia and Cambodia.

Mateo cited the vastly improved speed in the issuance of building permits which was trimmed down to three steps but globally the country ranked no. 99.

Reacting to President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s platform on fighting red tape in government with “no more waiting” and “three days” to conclude a government transaction, Mateo quibbled that “there are valid reasons to explain queuing in government offices depending on the nature of transactions”.

Mateo explained that transactions defined as complex takes time since the use of discretion in the resolution of a complicated issue has to be resolved by the office concerned and is beyond the competence of an employee handling the transaction.

Speeding up government transactions is perceived by the public as a slow process but ironically, government bureaucrats are confident that red tape can be cured. (Chito M. Visarra)

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