Help line to assist in public service issues

Published by reposted only Date posted on July 12, 2010

THE COMMISSION on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) will start this month a 24-hour citizen help line as a form of public service, an official said.

Angelo Timoteo M. Diaz de Rivera, CICT commissioner and National Computer Center (NCC) director-general, told BusinessWorld on Thursday the help line will accept complaints, request for information and assistance.

“The contact center will address the non-life threatening concerns of the public… [through] voice call, short messaging service, facsimile, electronic mail, among others,” he said.

Mr. Diaz de Rivera said several agencies will be interconnected in the pilot stage, which will cost around P50 million.

“To date, the agencies that [have] agreed to undergo the pilot run are the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Philippine Health Insurance Corp., Department of Health, National Computer Center and the Civil Service Commission,” he said.

The system was described as “a nationwide feedback mechanism.”

“We will get corresponding action or feedback in real time. If the concerns will not be addressed within the day, it should be answered within the week then,” said Mr. Diaz de Rivera

Last May 26, a memorandum of agreement was signed by Mr. Diaz de Rivera, Civil Service Commission Chairman Francisco T. Duque III and then BIR Commissioner Joel L. Tan-Torres giving the NCC a one-year funding for the network, software, hardware and technology and technical expertise such as the contact center agents for the help line.

The Civil Service Commission will gather the pertinent data and information as input to the NCC’s central knowledged database to be used by the contact center agents,” Mr. Diaz de Rivera explained.

The data will be used as basis for the issuance of performance report to the pilot agencies regarding the program’s efficiency and effectiveness, he added.

The citizen’s help line is pursuant to the implementation of the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007, or Republic Act (RA) 9845, and its corresponding Administrative Order 241 that provides the establishment and interconnectivity of government help lines to existing and future public assistance systems.

As part of transparency and accountability, RA 9854 requires agencies and offices to craft a Citizen’s Charter in the form of information billboards which should be posted at the main entrance of offices or at the most conspicuous place.

The charter, the law provides, will detail: the procedure to obtain a particular service; person/s responsible for each step; maximum time to conclude the process; document/s to be presented by the customer, if necessary; amount of fees, if necessary; and procedure for filing complaints. — A. M. P. Dagcutan, Businessworld

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