You can help keep an eye on our government
MANILA, Philippines - The Anti-Red Tape Act, or ARTA law (RA 9485), was seen as a welcome development at the time of its passage in 2007. It was aimed at increasing transparency and accountability of government agencies, as well as improving the quality of service these agencies provide to the public.
Included in the law's provisions are requirements for government frontline offices to post a citizen's charter and observe a 'no noon-break' policy.
Seven years later, compliance with the law has not been stellar. In 2013, only 18% of all government offices were rated as 'excellent' in ARTA compliance by the government's own assessment.
The government has taken steps to reduce the paperwork and bureaucratic delays, particularly for those who want to register new businesses and pay taxes. But, despite a jump in the global ease-of-doing-business rankings, the Philippines remains in the lower half of the list.
Keeping the government in check
Part of the lackluster performance lies in the poor accountability of government agencies to the public they serve. Vigilance and an informed citizenry are pillars of any functioning democracy - pillars which need to be reinforced.
Rappler's citizen engagement arm, MovePH, seeks to strengthen these foundations. Through #BudgetWatch, we are keeping tabs on the government's allocation and spending of public funds together with our partner-CSOs from the Open Budget Partnership. Rappler also develops innovative online and offline platforms to engage and inform the public on what the government is doing. #PHVote and #ProjectAgos gather big data and relevant information and present them to the public through interactive multimedia stories.
You're the boss
In order to raise awareness of what citizens can do to make government agencies and local government units more acocuntable, MovePH is partnering with Bantay.ph - a youth based good governance movement - to bring together citizens who want to help keep the government in check. (READ: 'Keeping the government honest is a shared responsibility')
These are the people who are tired of accepting the government as it is and who want the government to be the service-oriented institution it should be.
Come to our first ever volunteer meet-up on March 13, 2014 6:00-8:00pm at Yardstick Coffee in Esteban St, Legaspi Village, Makati City. Register for the event on Eventbrite to let us know you’re coming. We’ll be talking about ways we can keep our government honest and bring the power back to the people. - Rappler.com