THE Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) has reminded government offices to always observe the “no-noon break” policy as provided under Republic Act (RA) No. 11032 or the “Ease of Doing Business.”
In government offices and agencies, employees are required to work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Monday to Friday).
RA No. 9485, on the other hand, provides that “frontline service offices” shall ensure that individuals who arrive at their premises during office hours, including noon break, should be attended to and served.
Appropriate working schedules, such as rotation system or sliding flexi-time, shall be implemented to ensure that these government offices and agencies are adequately manned during lunch and snack breaks.
Last Friday, ARTA conducted a surprise inspection at the Registry of Deeds office in Manila after receiving reports on the 3 p.m. cut-off system being implemented by the said government agency.
True enough, clients who arrived after 3 p.m. said they were told by the office security guard to just return the following week, which is a violation of Section 21(f) of RA No. 11032.
Violators face suspension for the first offense and dismissal from the service and a six-year imprisonment for the second offense.
ARTA Director-General Jeremiah Belgica stressed that government agencies should not implement the cut-off or quota system just to minimize physical contact during the pandemic.
And to do away with the hated “pila” system in public offices, which is a no-no to President Rodrigo Duterte, Belgica called on government offices to speed up the automation of their operations.
But what is important, in the view of many quarters, is the willingness of the Filipino people to report to ARTA all inefficiencies observed and experienced by the transacting public.
Oo nga naman!