Section 7.  The Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 (Republic Act No. 9485)

 The Declaration of Policy found in Section 2 of the Act states:

“It is hereby declared the policy of the State to promote integrity, accountability, proper management of public affairs and public property as well as to establish effective practices aimed at the prevention of graft and corruption in government. Towards this end, the State shall maintain honesty and responsibility among its public officials and employees, and shall take appropriate measures to promote transparency in each office or agency with regard to the manner of transacting with the public, which shall encompass a program for the adoption of simplified procedures that will reduce red tape and expedite transactions in government.”

Republic Act No. 9485 aims “to promote transparency in government with regard to the manner of transacting with the public by requiring each agency to simplify frontline service procedures, formulate service standards to observe in every transaction and make known these standards to the client.”

 The following are the ten things to know about the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007:

  1. The law applies to all government offices including local government units and government-owned and controlled corporations that provide frontline services. Agencies performing judicial, quasi-judicial and legislative functions are excluded from the coverage of the Act but their frontline services are deemed included.
  1. The law limits the number of signatures of officials or employees directly supervising the evaluation, approval or disapproval of the frontline service (request, application or transaction) to a maximum of five (5) signatures.
  1. The law requires all government offices to draw up a Citizen’s Charter which identifies the frontline services offered, step-by-step procedures, the employee responsible for each step, the amount of fees, the documents to be presented by the client and the procedure for filing complaints in relation to requests and applications.
  1. The Citizen’s Charter must be posted as information billboards at the main entrance or most conspicuous place and in published materials.
  1. The law defines “fixer” as any individual whether or not officially involved in the operation of a government office who has access to people working therein and whether or not in collusion with them, facilitates speedy completion of transaction for pecuniary gain or any advantage or consideration.
  1. All applications/requests for frontline services shall be acted upon not longer than five (5) working days for simple transactions and ten (10) working days for complex transactions.
  1. Denial of request for access to a government service shall be fully explained in writing, stating the name of the person making the denial and the grounds for the denial.
  1. Public assistance desks should be set up in all offices and shall be attended to even during break time. All officers and employees transacting with the public should wear an ID or name-plate or other means of identification.
  1. If a government agency fails to act on an application/request for renewal of a license, permit or authority subject for renewal within the prescribed period, said permit shall automatically be extended until a decision is rendered on the application for renewal. No automatic extension however shall apply to an expired permit or license or to permits/licenses which cover activities that pose danger to public health, public safety, public morals or public policy.
  1. CSC shall conduct a survey of government agencies to check on the existence and effectiveness of the Citizen’s Charter. CSC shall publicize the results in an annual report card survey and furnish the government agency concerned the result of the survey assessment, evaluation and/or observations.

*Frontline service refers to the process or transaction between clients and government offices involving applications for any privilege, right, permit, reward, license, concession, or for any modification, renewal or extension of the enumerated applications and/or requests.