2 February 2022 – Secretary Jeremiah B. Belgica, Director General of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), renewed his call for government agencies to establish their official contact lines and ensure that their offices are reachable by the public.

The ARTA chief stressed that this is an important aspect of public service, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The statement came after ARTA continued receiving reports of government offices that are unreachable through their contact lines.

“We need to understand that it is a disservice to the public if they are not able to reach those in the government for assistance. This is yet another form of red tape that hampers the efficient delivery of government services to Filipinos,” ARTA Sec. Belgica said.

“If we continue receiving complaints like this, we shall be issuing notices to explain to erring government offices,” he warned.

The ARTA chief said setting up contact lines is as important as putting up Public Assistance and Complaints Desks, which are mandated under Republic Act No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.

This is in line with the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Memorandum Circular No. 87 released by the Office of the President, which both state that the government must be at full operating capacity even during the COVID-19 pandemic or enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).