In the spirit of transparency, good governance, and continuing commitment to provide timely and quality service to the public, the Department of Transportation (DOTr), under the leadership of Secretary Arthur Tugade, has stepped up initiatives to comply with the provisions of Republic Act 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 (ARTA).
In a report to Civil Service Commission (CSC) Anti-Red Tape Task Force, the Dotr reported the various efforts and reforms being instituted to ensure that procurement procedures, transactions, and other frontline services are fulfilled in a manner that is efficient, timely, and corruption-free.
“We should not make the public wait. What we can solve at our level, we solve at our level. Wala na dapat pasa-pasa. Ayoko ng may mga natutulog na papel,” said Secretary Tugade.
The transportation chief is known to leave the office late, as he pays unscheduled visits to the offices of department heads to check whether there are papers or requests that are not being acted upon.
Speedy resolution of requests
The DOTr has activated its digital media and public assistance arm to receive and resolve complaints from the public. Complaints received through the DOTr’s digital platforms are forwarded immediately to concerned Attached Agencies. The DOTr Facebook Page has over 170,000 followers, from only around 20,000 in mid-2016, and responds to hundreds of inquiries, concerns, and complaints daily.
The DOTr was also recognized as one of the top performing departments/national Agencies during the first year of implementation of the Freedom of Information (FOI) portal. As of today, the DOTr has received 218 requests for information (208 requests resolved), making it among the most requested agencies in the portal. The DOTr was hailed fully compliant with EO No. 2 or the implementation of FOI in the executive branch, and was also recognized for being the first government agency to enroll all its attached agencies and offices into the FOI portal.
The DOTr’s Action Center continues to receive, process, and resolve complaints and reports from the public via the agency’s Hotline 7890.
Transparency in procurement
The DOTr, through its Communication’s Office, has started live streaming bidding and procurement processes for the agency’s projects. From 29 May 2017 to 8 December 2017, a total of 42 livestreaming posts had been streamed on DOTr’s official Facebook page. These posts consisted of 98 projects: pre-bidding (48 projects) and opening of bids (50 projects).
The DOTr Internal Audit Office (IAO) also reported that the Department has displayed tarpaulins showing procedures for procurement of infrastructure projects. These tarpaulins, which also showed DOTr’s and prospective bidders’ responsibilities with timelines, were posted on conspicuous areas of the agency premises.
Undersecretary for Administration and Finance Garry De Guzman also issued a memorandum, instructing all officials of the DOTr and other attached agencies to ensure that contracts and transactions with suppliers and external parties are paid within 15 days. He also issued a memorandum ordering them submit a status report of action taken regarding the processing of request from the public within 15 working days through the IAO.
Public information and awareness
Several features on the DOTr’s official website (www.dotr.gov.ph) aim to inform and promote transparency. These include the Build, Build, Build infrastructure program of the Duterte administration, the FOI manual and request form, Transparency Seal, an ARTA section showing steps on procurement and infrastructure, online complaint forms, Citizen Charter, operations report of the Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (i-ACT), and other announcements.
Further, the DOTr continued with the distribution of fans, bumper stickers, bookmarks with anti-red tap messages and phone numbers of the agency and its attached agencies to stakeholders, clients, and the public. Public assistance desks and suggestion boxes were also set up, while the public is encouraged to answer customer feedback and survey forms.
The DOTr also continues to monitor its frontline agencies and offices such as the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and the Land Transportation Office with regard to the implementation of their respective ARTA programs and activities.