Once more, the Red Tape
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
It is good to note that the government is again trying to make its agencies comply with the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 that requires them to adopt measures that would minimize the time or shorten the process for the public when they deal with such offices.
However, it seems that few, if any, have complied with the ARTA, as shown by the fact that the reminder has been made again.
Under the ARTA, government agencies are supposed to prepare and present a detailed procedure for transacting official business with the public. The charter is supposed to have a format and a time limit for the various transactions taking place, for the convenience of those dealing with government.
However, a recent red tape test administered by the Civil Service Commission only revealed the failure of the ARTA to elicit the compliance of the agencies and offices concerned. Malacañang itself announced that no less than 150 government agencies had failed the red tape test.
It also named some of the agencies as branches of the Government Service Insurance System, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, the Philippine Postal Corporation, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Bureau of Customs among them.
For so long now, businessmen and even the ordinary citizen who goes to a government agency to, say, apply for a license or permit, claim benefits, get a loan, register an enterprise, and any other transaction, have been complaining about how long it takes, and how many trips they often have to make to the agency where, oftentimes, requirements are asked of them piecemeal.
It is no wonder, therefore, that so many of them have flunked the Civil Service test. Malacañang, however, should be more transparent and release in full the names of all the agencies that had failed the ARTA test and made a mockery of Republic Act No. 9485 that created the ARTA.
Perhaps that is the best way of making those agencies sit up and start snipping off all the red tape that stifle their operations and exasperate the country's taxpaying citizens now.*