Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has formally created the Anti-Red Tape Team at the Department of Finance (DOF) and has appointed Undersecretary Gil Beltran as its chairperson, in line with President Duterte’s very first directive for all government offices to provide fast and hassle-free frontline services to the public.
In Department Order No. 38-2016, Dominguez directed this anti-red tape team to formulate measures designed to speed up work-related processes not only at the department but also in DOF-attached agencies such as the Bureaus of Customs (BOC) and of Internal Revenue (BIR) and government-owned and –controlled corporations (GOCCs).
“The Department is committed to streamline the delivery of government services and intends to pursue this by designating employees and officials specifically for this purpose,” said Dominguez in the DOF order.
This order is in support of Republic Act No. 9485 (or the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007), which mandates all public offices to implement measures promoting transparency, simplified procedures as well as expedite transactions in government.
RA 9485 likewise calls for effective practices aimed at preventing graft and corruption in government offices.
President Duterte ordered all department secretaries to cut red tape in ther respective offices in his first Cabinet meeting at Malacañang last June 30.
Signed last July 18, DO 38-2016 designated Beltran as the DOF’s anti-red tape czar.
Prior to his new appointment, Beltran was the head of the DOF’s Office of the Chief Economist and concurrent undersecretary for Policy Development and Management Services Group from 2008 to 2013. He has served the department since 1978.
“The main objective of the Department Order is to find ways to enable the public to transact with the Department at a faster pace at least cost,” Beltran said. “The public deserves nothing less.”
Beltran’s anti-red tape team will be composed of all members of the DOF’s Taskforce/Committee on Citizen’s Charter plus one representative each from the respective Citizen’s Charter committees of DOF-attached bureaus and agencies.
Other members of the Team may also be designated by the finance secretary, the order stated.
Based on Dominguez’s order, Beltran’s team shall review and evaluate the DOF’s Citizen Charter as well as rules and regulations regarding processes in the department, bureaus, attached agencies and GOCCs, particularly those that provide frontline services.
Dominguez ordered the Beltran-headed team to, “Review and evaluate the Department’s Citizen Charter and rules and regulations regarding processes in the Department and its bureaus, attached agencies and government-owned and –controlled corporations (GOCCs), especially those that provide frontline services.”
“The team should strictly comply with the provisions of R.A. No. 9485, improve efficiency in the conduct and delivery of services, and simplify procedures while ensuring proper controls are in place,” said Dominguez in DO 38-2016.
The Anti-Red Tape Team shall also ensure that transparency in government transactions is maintained, while preventing corruption and safeguarding integrity in the delivery of services, the secretary said in his DOF order.
The Team will also recommend measures to rationalize procedures and reengineer the existing transaction systems in the DOF and explore the use of modern communications technologies.
To automate tasks and foster transparency in all transactions within the department, the team is also mandated under this DOF order to: “Explore the use of modern communication technologies, including social media, to expedite transactions, improve efficiency in the delivery of services and receive customer feedback.”
One communications platform being considered under Dominguez’s order is the efficient utilization of social media to help expedite transactions, improve efficiency in service delivery and receive customer feedback.
The department order further states that, “The implementation of the Public Assistance Desk, No Fixer Policy and No Lunch Break Policy and such other policies that may affect the delivery of services shall also be reviewed to ensure that these are properly regulated.”
Dominguez expects the Anti-Red Tape Team to submit three-month reports at the start of each quarter, provide its program, propose next steps and applicable deadlines starting August 1.
The team shall review the report card survey and coordinate with the Civil Service Commission to improve the DOF’s ratings, and also provide final recommendations with attached drafts of proposed issuances on or before December 31, 2016.
Dominguez has called on other DOF units, bureaus, attached agencies and state-run corporations to provide assistance and other resources as needed by Beltran’s group.
“This order shall take effect immediately and all concerned shall be guided accordingly,” the secretary said.