To eliminate “bureaucratic red tape” in the Bacolod Government Center, Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia issued Executive Order No. 4 on July 12 to create and designate a Core Team to review Republic Act No. 9485, or the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA), and revisit the Citizen's Charter.
The ARTA mandates all government offices to “improve efficiency in the delivery of government service to the public by reducing bureaucratic red tape, preventing graft and corruption, and providing penalties thereof,” the press release from the city said.
“Red tape” is an idiom for “excessive regulation or rigid conformity to formal rules that is considered redundant or bureaucratic and hinders or prevents action or decision-making.”
Leonardia said this executive order is the first step in carrying out one item in his three-point agenda in his platform of government, which is “to install a highly capable and professionalized government bureaucracy that would restore good governance to the City.”
The mayor said his EO is also a response to the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte for better and faster servicing of the needs of constituents, especially for regulatory permits.
The Core Team is composed of City Administrator John Orola Jr. as the chairperson; Human Resource Management Officer Erman Aguirre as vice chairperson; Secretary to the Mayor Edward Joseph Cuansing, HRMO IV Gilda Lluisma, Supervising Administrative Office Federico Guanzon, and Executive Assistants Celestino Guarra and Samuel Montoyo as members.
Among others, the mayor wants the team to “review and reduce or remove redundant requirements and re-engineer their procedures, especially for those services with transaction time that go beyond the three-day limit.”
The team is also tasked to “identify various frontline services to be prioritized for the review in the ARTA implementation and revisit of the Citizen's Charter, and to provide for the “training or capability-building of personnel.”
They shall also set up or install systems and technology for complaints desk and hotlines, and mechanisms to eliminate fixers and fixing activities.
Leonardia has set a target date of August 31, 2016 for the implementation of initial bureaucratic reforms in the various departments to shorten processing time for regulatory permits and for possible legislative action needed for such reforms.*
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