ARTA receives donated complaints management system

31 March 2022 – The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) on Thursday formally received the e-ARTA Complaints Management System (CMS) which was donated by the Multisys Technologies Corporation.

The new system aims to automate the agency’s processes involving complaints filing and handling.

With the e-ARTA CMS, ordinary citizens can file complaints before ARTA through a web-based application consistent with the Authority’s rules of procedure.

In addition to this, ARTA will have access to an electronic dashboard where they can monitor real-time updates on filed complaints. The system will also have active CART pilot agency accounts for quick response.

Among other key features of the new system include an electronic ticketing system, paperless complaint filing, cloud storage for back-up, and SMS notification for complainants.

Secretary Jeremiah B. Belgica, ARTA Director General, together with his top management, led the signing of the deed of donation with the Multisys Technologies Corporation. The event carried the theme “E-reklamo, sagot ng ARTA ito!”

Aaron Thomas Mendoza, Senior Business Development Officer of the Multisys Technologies Corporation, conducted a live demonstration of the e-ARTA Complaints Management System.

The e-ARTA Complaints Management System, which was soft launched by the Authority during the 3-7-20 Day on 7 March 2022, is another tool to help government agencies comply with the Zero Backlog Policy as stated in Republic Act No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.

This, as more members of the public are becoming aware of ARTA’s services and lodging their complaints before the Authority.

Undersecretary Eduardo V. Bringas, Deputy Director General for Legal, said that these initiatives are a response to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s directive to automate government services to make transactions more convenient for the public.

“ARTA is at the forefront of digital transformation… digitalization is pag-ayos ng government processes. We focus on the client, para sila ‘yung mas madaling maserbisyuhan,” he said.

The said platforms are also seen to strengthen ARTA’s enforcement function, including its complaints handling processes, said Undersecretary Carlos F. Quita, Deputy Director General for Administration, Finance, and Special Programs.

“The Anti-Red Tape Authority, as an organization, is very lucky to have very active and generous partners. Multisys has been very cooperative with us. This (e-ARTA CMS) will surely be a big boost in our capacity building,” Usec. Quita.

Undersecretary Ernesto V. Perez, Deputy Director General for Operations, also reiterated that streamlining and automating government processes is no longer optional but mandatory.

“As we approach the new normal at the end of the pandemic, I think we should get used to the notion that digitalization is no longer an option, but is now a default,” he said.

“In a bureaucracy, a public administration, red tape and corruption come together, and the best way to address red tape and corruption is digitalization. ARTA should be able and ready to address all of these complaints,” he added.

ARTA Sec. Belgica emphasized the importance of exploring technological solutions in order to streamline and reengineer government processes.

“There is no excuse for us any longer to really be isolated and be lacking in the opportunity to access the right kind of information, not only respond to the needs of the time, but to also anticipate, calibrate our actions on what other things and challenges will arise in the future. That is why it is very important for us to tap into technology and innovation,” he said.

“What we are launching through the e-ARTA Complaints Management System and Citizen Services App is indeed a futuristic step ahead on what we can anticipate.

The ARTA chief also called on the Filipino people to continue demanding better services from their government through the said platforms.

“Hindi na pwede ang dating pamamaraan at sistema and it is incumbent upon the people to bring this to the authorities and tell them that we refuse to be victimized by these systems. We refuse to be aligned with the old way and thinking of doing things,” he said.

Meanwhile, ARTA is also set to sign another deed of donation for the ARTA Citizen Services App in April. Johanne Lim, Technical Consultant of the University of the Philippines Public Administration Research and Extension Services Foundation, Inc. for the Regulatory Reform Support Program for National Development’s (UPPAF-RESPOND) also demonstrated the use of the ARTA CSA during the said event.


ARTA pushes for integration of DFA, NBI services for Apostille appointments

24 March 2022 – In a bid to address the long queues forming outside the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) offices, the Anti-Red Tape Authority is pushing for the integration of the services of the DFA and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for Apostille appointments.

An Apostille is a certificate that authenticates the origin of a public document. It is issued by a country that is party to the Apostille Convention to be used in another country which is also a party to the Convention.

Following informal discussions with the said agencies, ARTA Secretary Jeremiah B. Belgica said the parties agreed in principle to automatically forward NBI clearances to DFA for Apostille.

With this, applicants no longer need to go to DFA and submit their applications for Apostille but will just wait for its release.

Another recommendation of the ARTA czar is the fast-tracking of an e-Apostille system to automate the process.

ARTA Sec. Belgica also said that the DFA could consider maintaining their offices open seven days a week instead of implementing cut-off systems to cater to all applicants. They could also activate courier services for door-to-door deliveries of documents which would lead to less people trooping to DFA branches.

“These are important streamlining strategies that would address and prevent situations like the one that we saw while conducting inspections on the field,” ARTA Sec. Belgica said in reference to his on-the-ground inspection on Tuesday, 22 March 2022 after receiving reports on long lines forming outside the DFA-Office of Consular Affairs (OCA) in Parañaque City due to an influx of applicants..

Here, the DFA-OCA said that aside from those with passport appointments, there are also overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who queue up for their Apostille appointments.

The ARTA Director General will continue discussions on the said streamlining solutions with officials from DFA and NBI on Thursday afternoon.

“ARTA has always reminded and championed the idea of a whole-of-government approach which includes the establishment of a single window for offices or agencies offering related services,” ARTA Sec. Belgica said.

ARTA assures that it will continue to support government agencies to find appropriate solutions or innovations while having its feet and ears on the ground with the people.


Statement of Secretary Jeremiah B. Belgica on the Decision of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to stop reserving appointment slots for recruiters

12 March 2022 – Obtaining appointment slots at the Department of Foreign Affairs has been a cause for concern in recent months, particularly for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). There are some people who are taking advantage of the situation by charging a fee to secure an appointment.

We support the decision of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), led by Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin, Jr., to stop allocating appointment times to recruiting agencies and resume accepting walk-in passport applications from overseas OFWs with supporting documents starting Monday, March 14.

With this set-up, getting a passport appointment will be a whole lot less of a problem. Furthermore, because everyone will have to go through the same process, all will have an equal opportunity. It is seen to help address illegal recruiters and scammers who take advantage of OFWs or even the general public with urgent need of their passports for their deployment abroad or transactions abroad.

But there is still much more to be done. ARTA is continuously working with the DFA to help them make their processes more efficient and improve their services to the public.