The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) has urged government agencies anew to establish their official contact lines to ensure that their offices can be reached by the public during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
ARTA Director-General Jeremiah Belgica made the statement after ARTA continued receiving reports of government offices that are unreachable through their contact lines.
In a statement, Belgica stressed that official contact lines are an important aspect of public service, especially during a health crisis.
“We need to understand that it is a disservice to the public if they are not able to reach those in the government for assistance,” he said.
“This is yet another form of red tape that hampers the efficient delivery of government services to Filipinos,” he added.
“If we continue receiving complaints like this, we shall be issuing notices to explain to erring government offices,” he continued.
The ARTA chief said setting up contact lines is as important as putting up Public Assistance and Complaints Desks, which are mandated under the Ease of Doing Business Act.
He added that this is in line with the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Memorandum Circular No. 87 released by the Office of the President which both state that the government must be at full operating capacity even during the COVID-19 pandemic.