CUT CORNERS!…among the “marching orders”
of President Duterte to the Agency Chiefs
by Apolinario Villalobos
The new president, Rodrigo R. Duterte was touched by the scene of throngs of people who slept on the pavement outside the office of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Ecoland, Davao City. According to him, they came from as far as the towns of the Cotabato provinces. They had to stay overnight in the makeshift waiting area so as not to lose their place in the line as the office opens the following day. He was shocked to see such a pathetic scene for he cannot fathom how the tax payers can be made to suffer from the inefficiency of the office resulting to backlogs. Lack of high tech facilities such as computer units, is not a reason, as the agency is supposed to be constantly requiring support to make their operation efficient.
During his inaugural speech, he emphasized his order to facilitate the processing of documents by doing away with the redundant requirements including unnecessary signatures. These have been the burden of the taxpayers who are made to return so many times for certain requirements that are not necessary. Worst is the pending their documents due to the absence of “unnecessary signatories”. The delay, as a result, has also been perceived as a ploy of the attending employees to insinuate the need for “grease money”, which is really very bad for the image of the government.
What makes the situation worse is the attitude of many agency employees who act with arrogance while dealing with their clients. Many of them do not exert extra effort to put the clients at ease, whose need for the required documents are crucial. I had this experience when attended to by an SSS counter employee. While I was about to ask another question, she called the next number. At another government agency, specifically, the Philippine Statistics Office, instead of answering my questions, the attending employee kept on repeating their rule as if I was deaf. In that agency, I was assisted by a security guard who was more helpful.
This systemic defect can be perceived in other agencies, not only the DFA in Davao City.
Hopefully, the cutting of corners policy will also result to the cutting of horns of the government employees with devilish, vicious attitude, as if they are the boss of the tax payers!