By Alexandria San Juan
The Civil Service Commission (CSC) told public officials that the government is sincere in implementing the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) law following the filing of first formal charges by the anti-red tape body against erring officials who violated the policy.
“We just want to take this opportunity to remind other government officials and employees that the government is serious in the enforcement of the ease of doing business,” Civil Service commissioner Aileen Lizada said.
Lizada also reminded public offices to make sure that their employees, as well as officials, are complying with the ease of doing business policy to avoid complaints as stricter penalties are being imposed under the law.
According to Lizada, complaints desks on all government offices should not be unmanned and the “No Noontime Policy” should be implemented.
“Review your respective Citizen’s Charter. Huwag ninyo po hintayin na mag-aabot po tayo sa ganito na mayroong kakasuhan na mga empleyado,” the lawyer added.
Lizada also called on all government officials and employees to remain “faithful” to their jobs and their mandate to serve the public well with “professionalism, excellence, and humility.”
“Let us just be faithful to our jobs, let us be consistent whether CSC is watching, whether the ARTA is watching or whether the public is watching [or not]. Let us be consistent and faithful to our mandate let us serve the public well with utmost professionalism, excellence and humility,” she stated.
The commissioner issued the statement after the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) lodged formal charges against officials of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Registry of Deeds (ROD) on Wednesday due to violations committed under EODB law.
ARTA director general Jeremiah Belgica said the violations were confirmed through a series of meetings and spot-checks on both LTFRB and ROD after receiving mounting complaints from the public against the said agencies.
Some of these violations include the imposition of additional requirements other than those listed in the Citizen’s Charter; failure to render government services within the prescribed processing time on any application or request without due cause; and failure to attend to applicants or requesting parties who are within the premises of the office or agency concerned prior to the end of official working hours and during lunch break.
“The law gives ARTA more teeth in pursuing anti-red tape cases as it introduces stricter rules such as the two strike policy, which spells out penalties warranted for the first and second violation of the law,” the ARTA said in an earlier statement.
First time violators will be penalized with administrative liability with six months suspension.
While penalties for second offense are administrative liability and criminal liability of dismissal from the service, perpetual disqualification from holding public office, forfeiture of retirement benefits and imprisonment of one year to six years with a fine of not less than P500,000 but not more than P2 million.
The LTFRB has yet to comment on the issue.