Local officials must be serious about anti-red tape law

Aug. 21, 2009

DAVAO CITY — As the government moves a step closer to being red tape-free, Interior and Local Government secretary Ronaldo Puno asked local government officials to be in earnest about the implementation of Republic Act 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act (Arta) of 2007.

Puno said local officials should actively take part in carrying out the new law, which promotes transparency and timeliness of government transactions. Puno said the ARTA was the government’s response to the problem on corruption and aims to end lengthy procedures, unreasonable paper requirements and padded fees in dealing with government offices.

“Dapat seryosohin natin ang batas na ito upang hindi tayo malagay sa alanganin pagdating ng panahon (We should be dead serious in implementing this law in order to avoid being sanctioned in the future),” Puno told more than 600 barangay officials from Davao del Norte, saying stiff penalties will be imposed on those who violate the law.

The interior secretary was the keynote speaker during the recent 2nd provincial congress of the Liga ng mga Barangay (League of Villages) held at the Grand Men Seng Hotel in Davao City. Under the Arta, processing time for government transactions will have a ceiling of five days for ordinary transactions and ten days for complicated ones.

Puno also gave DILG regional directors another 30 days to closely monitor the compliance of the LGUs in formulating their respective citizens’ charters that would guide citizens on how to quickly avail of frontline government services at the community level.

Government offices are obliged to draw up such a charter by September this year and identify available frontline services, step-by-step procedures, personnel responsible for each step, fees, documents to be presented and the procedure for filing complaints in relation to requests and applications. Puno said the charter merely institutionalized the already existing services in the provincial government, such as the People’s Day every Monday, where the ordinary public can avail of the services of the province in no time at all.

He hailed the Arta as a milestone in effecting fast, efficient, and corruption-free transactions and services from the LGUs and all the other government agencies.

Some 60 percent of local government offices from various parts of the country have complied with Arta. (CIO Tagum)

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