By Cecille Suerte Felipe Updated January 20, 2009 12:00 AM
[ philstar.com ]
The Department of the Interior and Local Government will step up the implementation of its anti-red tape project this year in an effort to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of local government units (LGUs).
Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno said the DILG would closely monitor the compliance of LGUs in formulating their respective “citizens charters” to guide citizens on how to quickly avail of frontline government services at the community level.
Puno said the program dubbed as Comprehensive and Unified Response to Eliminate Red Tape or the Cure project will be among the initiatives that the DILG will prioritize this year to enhance the delivery of basic services to the people, particularly at the level of LGUs.
“One of the key provisions of the Anti-Red Tape Law is the formulation of the Citizen’s Charter by the LGUs,” Puno said. “We will strictly monitor LGUs in terms of their compliance with this provision so that we can realize our goal of unifying government action in the elimination of red tape down to the local level.”
The Cure project, which is being carried out in tandem with other government agencies, among them the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and the Office of the Ombudsman, aims to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of LGUs through the elimination of red tape practices.
Puno said any complaint regarding violations of the Anti-Red Tape Act and its Implementing Rules and Regulations may be received by the DILG field offices and forwarded to the central office for endorsement to the Office of the Ombudsman.
He said the project, which is the Department’s response to the provisions stated under the Anti-Red Tape Law of 2007 or Republic Act 9485, also seeks to prevent graft and corruption at the local level.
For the first and second quarters of 2009, Puno said the DILG will focus on training anti-red tape “champions” who will help carry out the provisions of RA 9485 at the local level.
The Citizen’s Charter is a document that contains relevant information on the frontline services and goods provided by LGUs to its citizens and serves as the standard of delivery of these services and goods to the public.
“Through the Local Government Academy (LGA), the DILG assists LGUs in crafting the Citizens’ Charter, which should also contain information on the maximum time and amount of fees needed to cover these basic frontline services,” DILG Undersecretary for Local Government Austere Panadero said.
Aside from the CSC, Ombudsman and LGA, Project Cure also involves the Local Research Institutes, Development Academy of the Philippines and the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission.
On top of crafting the Citizen’s Charter, Panadero said Project Cure also intends to familiarize LGUs on the provisions of the anti-red tape law; improve the existing procedures of delivering frontline services at the local level; and provide venues for the enforcement of the law through citizens’ feedbacks and development of community-level alliances with anti-corruption watchdogs.
Panadero said the DILG began conducting orientation workshops to inform city governments about the law’s provisions in the last quarter of 2008 and will continue with these activities down to the municipal and barangay level this year.
In the latter part of 2009, Panadero said the DILG would firm up, in tandem with the CSC, Ombudsman and other stakeholders, the mechanisms on citizens’ feedback and the law enforcement provisions of RA 9485.