22 July 2020 – With just three days left until the deadline, the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) reminds government agencies who are yet to submit their revised Citizen’s Charter to ARTA to comply with the submission on or before July 25.

The Citizen’s Charter provision of R.A. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act mandates all government agencies in the executive branch, which include national government agencies, local government units, government -owned and -controlled corporations, and other government instrumentalities, to craft a Citizen’s Charter.

These covered government agencies are urged to refer to ARTA Memorandum Circular 2019-02, which includes a Citizen’s Charter template and details the prescribed manner of writing it. Said memorandum circular could be accessed at ARTA’s official website at https://arta.gov.ph.

The law requires government agencies to have their Citizen’s Charter in both (1) information billboard (e.g. tarpaulins, kiosks, TV postings), and (2) handbook form. The handbook must be made available at the transaction windows/counters of each frontline office and shall be uploaded at the official website of the agency. Further, it shall serve as ARTA’s reference for violations in case of any complaint it may receive against a government agency.

According to Director General Jeremiah Belgica, “Agencies who will fail to submit in compliance with the President’s directive under A.O.23 and with R.A. 11032 should expect administrative sanctions”.

As per the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 11032, the government agencies were required to submit their Citizen’s Charter to ARTA, including only their external services on or before December 6 last year. For the July 25 deadline, ARTA expects all covered agencies to submit their revised Citizen’s Charter for both their external and internal services, including the new processes implemented and all other revisions on existing services that are being adopted in the ‘new normal’.

“It is not enough that they submit on time; they should submit a rationalized one which reflects an easier process. One key thing that they should bear in mind is that they should only ask for requirements that are really necessary and has clear legal basis”, the ARTA chief added.

Pursuant to its functions, ARTA has since assured that government agencies are informed with the guidelines to effectively comply with the Citizen’s Charter provision of the law through releasing memorandum circulars, and the conduct of webinars and nationwide capacity-building activities which date back prior to the implementation of community quarantines.