Islands of Good Governance | 5 government agencies report strides towards competitiveness (InterAksyon)

MANILA, Philippines - As the Philippines prepares for ASEAN economic integration and its hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in 2015, just how far has it gone towards ensuring its competitiveness in the region? Several government agencies gathered at a “Take the Lead” public governance forum Friday to report how they’re faring in that regard, and share ideas of how to address remaining barriers.

Officials from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Civil Service Commission, Department of Health, Department of Public Works and Highways, and Philippine National Police, among others, presented their accomplishments from last year in the context of their “breakthrough goals” for 2015 under the Islands of Good Governance (IGG) initiative by the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) and the National Competitiveness Council (NCC).

The aim of the collaboration, said ISA chairman Dr. Jesus Estanislao, was to raise the standards of government practice.

The performance of these institutions is measured through a “balanced scorecard” system and audited by external institutions to ensure “real, substantive performances (and) breakthroughs,” he added.

“We have made huge gains,” said NCC co-chair Guillermo Luz, citing global competitiveness reports such as the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index (+26 change over three years until 2013); International Finance Corporation/The World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report (+28 change over three years until 2013); and Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (+35 change over 3 years until 2013).

While other ASEAN countries with higher competitiveness rankings have more foreign direct investments, he said that the Philippines will do better as soon as it stays on track. Governance and competitiveness are connected strongly, he stressed, which was why the IGG initiative was an important one in achieving inclusive growth.

CSC chairman Francisco Duque III was the first official to present his agency’s breakthrough goals and progress towards them at the forum at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila 

The CSC’s breakthrough goals for 2015:

1. Increase percentage of high-density service offices passing the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA) report card survey, wherein clients rate the quality of recently concluded government transactions, from 75 percent to 98 percent

2. Increase percentage of cases resolved within 40 days from the time they are ripe for resolution from 60 percent in 2012 to 90 percent

Progress in 2013:

1. 92.89 percent or 837 service offices passed the ARTA report card survey

2. Resolution time of administrative cases was shortened from 60 days to 40 days

3. 73.9 percent or 6,789 cases were resolved within 40 days from the time they were ripe for resolution

4. 96.5 percent of draft decisions were deemed acceptable

The Army’s score card

Philippine Army commanding general Lieutenant General Hernando Iriberri also gave a speech.

Breakthrough goals for 2015:

1. 60,000 army non-commissioned officers to craft their own personal governance scorecards

2. 100 percent of army units directly engaged in territorial defense, security and stability, and humanitarian assistance and disaster response have increased operational readiness

Progress in 2013:

1. 30 percent or 19,720 enlisted personnel had personal governance scorecards

2. 30 percent or 53 units out of 176 directly engaged in territorial defense, security and stability, and humanitarian assistance and disaster response increased their operational readiness

3. Net trust rating was at +75 and net satisfaction rating was at +70, according to an external survey

Philippine National Police

PNP Chief General Alan Purisima was present at the event as well.

Breakthrough goals for 2015:

1. Improve crime resolution through a three percent increase in crime clearance and crime solution efficiencies

2. Decrease by incidents of street crimes like snatching, “salisi,” and “bukas kotse” by 50 percent

Progress in 2013:

1. There was a 4.48 percent increase of crime solution efficiency and 4.74 percent increase of crime clearance efficiency as of February this year

2. Of 3,642 crimes perpetrated by motorcycle riding criminals, 438 suspects were neutralized, 30 motorcycles confiscated, 36 firearms recovered, and 250 cases solved

3. Confiscation of loose firearms for violation of Republic Act No. 8294 increased by 22 percent or 9,706 firearms, and confiscation of loose firearms from private armed groups increased by 57 percent or 278 firearms, with 6,646 persons arrested and 4,701 cases filed

4. 109,631 firearm licenses were renewed and 7,959 firearms were surrendered for safekeeping

5. 153 criminal gangs were “neutralized,” or an increase of 10.87 percent, while 885 members were arrested, or an increase of 15.84 percent. 139 firearms were recovered and 263 cases filed

6. 16,429 drug traffickers were arrested, or an increase of 10.26 percent

7. Crime incidents recorded in police blotters, barangay blotters, and those “taken cognizance by other law enforcement agencies” began to be included in the statistics of crime incidents for a more complete picture. 1,033,833 incidents were recorded

8. 68,015 warrants of arrest were delivered. Under the Wanted Person Information System, 80,990 warrants were encoded on an online system since it was launched in 2012.

9. 109,009 were arrested. 91,446 were encoded in the e-Rogues Gallery System

10.  Barangay Peacekeeping Action Teams were organized in 37,139 or 88.35 percent of barangays, with 68.74 percent or 28,895 of them having been trained

11.  Administrative cases were filed against 1,033 erring personnel

DPWH reports

DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson updated participants on what his agency accomplished as well.

Breakthrough goals for 2016:

1. Pave national roads from 88 percent in 2010 to 100 percent in 2016 and improve quality and safety of national arterial and secondary roads

2. Professionalize the organization and its employees with new cadre of 120 young and well-trained engineers

Progress in 2013:

1. 88.2 percent or over 27,500 kilometers of roads were already paved

2. 40 cadets graduated under the DPWH Cadet Engineering Program

3. 4,294 positions were shaved off under a rationalization plan

4. Political interventions were “significantly reduced” especially in promotions and appointments, which are now based on performance

5. Major flood control master plans in Metro Manila and nearby areas were being implemented, as well as those in Cagayan de Oro, Legaspi, Imus, and Bacoor

6. Competitive and transparent bidding resulted in P24 billion savings from July 2010 to December 2013

7. 1,221 people were deployed in response and relief operations after supertyphoon Yolanda; 520 equipment mobilized in response, relief, and clearing operations; 17,307 pieces of coco lumber used for shelter and rehabilitation or the repair of damaged infrastructure and ongoing fabrication of markers to be installed in no-build zones; 271 temporary shelters constructed in Leyte, Samar, Eastern Samar, and Iloilo; 3,426 kilometers of national roads cleared of obstructions; 320,000 pieces of corrugated G.I. sheets procured for shelter program for distribution of DSWD in Samar and Leyte; 113,800 pieces of corrugated GI sheets procured for the repair of roofs of school buildings; 6,548 public buildings assessed or inspected

Department of Health

Health Assistant Secretary Gerardo Bayugo painted a picture of the status of the agency’s projects, as well.

Breakthrough goals for 2015:

1. Reduce infant mortality rate from 22 per 1,000 live births to 19 per 1,000 live births

2. Increase facility-based births from 44 percent to 80 percent

3. Expand PhilHealth coverage from 5.2 million families to 10.8 million families

4. Attain ISO certification for all 16 DOH regional offices and 64 DOH hospitals

Progress for 2013:

1. Infant mortality rate will be released on April 30, but interventions were done through expanded immunization for poor families, and family planning services, commodities, and counseling for all mothers and women of reproductive age were given. Two million infants were fully immunized

2. 60 percent of births were facility-based through rural and city health units and barangay health stations, among others, which were able to provide obstetric care and emergency services

3. 80.62 million Filipinos or 82 percent of the population are now covered by PhilHealth

4. By March this year, the Quality Management Systems of 13 DOH hospitals were certified to ISO 9001:2008 standards