The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) welcomes the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed on 22 February 2023 between the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) and the Office of the President’s (OP) 8888 Citizens’ Complaint Center (8888 CCC) that allows ARTA to pursue disciplinary actions against government agencies or public officials who fail to respond to citizens’ complaints within 72 hours.
Harmonising ARTA’s accountability measures and 8888 CCC’s feedback mechanism, the MOA authorises 8888 CCC to act as a formal complainant against unresponsive public institutions. When agencies or public officials fail to respond or render service within the 72-hour time frame, ARTA can then issue a warning; pursue investigations; and file appropriate charges before the Civil Service Commission, the Office of the Ombudsman, and other relevant courts pursuant to the Ease of Doing Business Law.
As the country’s independent national human rights institution, CHR not only recognises how this agreement emphasises the government’s responsibility as duty bearers in the promotion and protection of citizens’ human rights, it likewise increases Filipinos’ participation in the context of nation-building. Participatory measures such as this help eliminate bureaucratic red tape that benefits all, especially the most marginalised sectors.
The Commission underscores that government processes should be prompt, transparent, inclusive, and fair for all. When issues of exploitative practices and inefficiencies are addressed, it cultivates the principles of equality and equity in terms of receiving government services or response to human rights concerns, such as employment, access to basic services, housing, and social services among many others.
CHR hopes that ARTA and 8888 CCC’s MOA can pave the way for more collaborations among government agencies that will realise not only the administration’s desired efficient bureaucracy, but also human rights and the dignity of all. ###