09 November 2021 – More than 2,000 people who saw that there were missing payments in their Social Security System (SSS) accounts had their complaints resolved after a successful referral to the agency’s Committee on Anti-Red Tape (CART) by the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA).

The incident stemmed from a complaint by one JP Buenafe who noticed that his SSS payment contribution for the month of April this year was not posted in his account.

“Nakita ko po sa SSS, may missing na isang month… kumpleto ‘yung 2020 and then ‘yung 2021 may kulang. Napaisip ako ‘Napaka-suspicious naman nito. Bakit may kulang? Ano nangyari?'” he narrated in an interview over ARTAhin Mo!, the agency’s official public service program.

Buenafe said that he tried to contact his office as well as SSS about his concern. But when he did not receive a reply from the two, he decided to seek the help of the Authority, that was able to assist him in two other concerns in the past.

“Given ‘yung percentage ng resolution rate ng experience ko sa ARTA, sabi ko idiretso ko na siya sa ARTA,” he said. “Confident ako,’ yung ARTA, ano siya, eh, sumasagot talaga nang mabilis.”

ARTA referred the matter to the SSS CART. CARTs are designated committees that ensure that their respective agencies remain compliant with Republic Act No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018. Its creation in all government agencies is mandated under the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the said law. The Authority has been referring simple and complex transaction-related complaints to the CARTs.

Upon receiving the referral, the SSS CART saw that there were also around 2,000 other people who had the same concern as Buenafe. They were able to post the “missing payments” soon after.

This is among ARTA’s first ever successful CART referrals.

“Kailangan ‘yung ARTA ngayong pandemic na ang daming nahihirapan,” Buenafe said.

“Kitang-kita ko po na napaka-decisive ninyo, mayroong kindness. Nakita ko rin’ yung passion. ‘Yung passion, contagious siya, eh. So, ‘yung paghahanap ng justice, ng swift action, nakaka-inspire,” he added.

Secretary Jeremiah Belgica, ARTA Director General, lauded the SSS CART for their quick response to the Authority’s referral.

“This is a testament na kung gaano magiging mabisa ang isang CART sa loob ng government agency,” he said in ARTAhin Mo!

“Simpleng simple lang ‘yung nangyari. A low-lying fruit, but they were able to do it. Minsan itong mga simpleng bagay na ito ang gumagawa ng malaking pagbabago sa impression ng taumbayan sa mga government agencies,” he added.

Over a month ago, ARTA pilot tested the creation of a CART in 10 government agencies namely SSS, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Land Registration Authority (LRA), Bureau of Customs (BOC), Pag-IBIG, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and local government units in Metro Manila.

Data from ARTA’s legal team showed two other cases referred to the SSS CART and two cases referred to BIR CART were formally closed as of 3 November.

The ARTA chief encouraged other government agencies to activate their CARTs.

“I-operationalize niyo ang inyong mga CART. Libo-libong tao ang inyong matutulungan,” Sec. Belgica said.