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By Godofredo M. Roperos

Politics also

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

THE problem really is not a question of being able to render any form of service to the people, but one of giving the sort that may help resolve the problem.

At the moment, there is this case of report of a survey undertaken by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) that checks on the bureaucracy in government offices. The “Anti-Red Tape Act (Arta) Report Card Survey” looks into an office or agency’s manner of delivering with efficiency its services to the people.

The CSC, as a matter of its official function, is urging “government offices to improve their services in time for another survey.” It appears that this year’s projected survey will look into the matter “of efficiency of (d elivery) services, availability of facilities for the public, and level of satisfaction for the people who have transactions with them.”


The CSC is urging the government agencies to improve their services and prepare for another round of survey. The next round would involve additional government agencies and offices, such as five state universities and colleges; two government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) and 18 water districts located in Central Visayas.

In a sense, the CSC is trying to measure the effectiveness of the public service being rendered by the government to those who are most in need of assistance in order to be able to attain a better life.

At the moment, according to the CSC, “the frontline of seven government offices have corrected their procedures and passed the second round of assessment on their compliance of Arta.”

For those who are quite naïve like myself about the term, it is about the notion of “red tape.” It is a term that I have long been hearing from those who have been
transacting business with public agencies and offices.

I understood from the time I first encountered it as a civil servant—I was a career executive service officer during the 1970s, and “red tape” was used as a term for delayed public service intentionally or unintentional done.

Thus, when one sits on an official and legitimate service that the public needs immediately from a public office or agency, but is not immediately done by the office, agency, or official concerned, that is called red tape.

When one does it, he has employed red tape in his office. And the citizens were unable to do anything against any person who was caught doing it before. Today, with the passage of Arta, the citizen affected can “raise hell” and complain to the CSC and demand that his situation be remedied posthaste.

The CSC maybe said, too, as duty-bound to something about it at once. Effectiveness in public service is “a commodity of great value to the people in a democratic nation like ours. And certainly, red tape should be a bane to all of us who become a sort of victim to this “monster” of public, even of private, service.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 06, 2014.


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