THE Easter massage from BSA3 may be apropos but taking into consideration delivery of basic services leads one to conclude such, as plain hubris. Really, there is no place for chest thumping with his administration’s bad service delivery by front line agencies, in particular services of DFA insofar as passports are concerned and of DOTC, on licenses, plates, integration of expressways, the LRT and MRT as well as managing the influx of vehicles during peak travel seasons.
BSA3 on Saturday “compared the resuscitation of the country’s economy and his administration’s fight against corruption to the resurrection of Jesus Christ more than 2,000 years ago.” The Easter message “segued into a rundown of the gains of his administration, among them the investments in the Philippine Economic Zone Authority and the record highs registered by the Philippine Stock Exchange index.”
When faith is equated with economic growth and the message of Easter is diluted, one wonders whether the meaning was lost in translation or could be wrapped in all propaganda.
Every Filipino has a chance in a single six-year term to experience how basic services have improved from administration to administration. Let’s get down to the empirical basis so that government realizes the unique opportunities they squander by not looking into basic services. A passport is good for five years while licenses are good for three years. Expressways traffic during Holy Week is predetermined. Regulators know the highs and lows of volumes using the tollways during summer. Nothing new about that. And government does not need an Einstein to figure that out.
Instead of proclaiming that our economy was resurrected like JC, let us focus more on service delivery because that is servicing and telling Juan dela Cruz how taxes are being used to improve their total experience with government.
My sad experience: (1) It took me almost four hours to complete my passport renewal under this administration, a far cry from two hours under GMA. (2) I got my license at the end of the LTO process three years ago and today, I just have a piece of paper for lack of plastic!
The joke goes that the most ugly photo Filipinos can ever have is via our passports, whether new or renewed. Same with licenses. It’s like reaching our threshold limits with all the inefficiencies when voila, it is our turn to sit and get the tax-paid photos of ourselves. With DFA, worse is you are sitting, waiting for some contraption of a digital SLR camera tacked to a wall and connected to a PC. With DFA, you are herded from line-to-line by blue guards. No DFA employee to ask instructions from. Try visiting the satellite office of DFA in Ali Mall and see the high technology in place.
As to LTO, you go from window to window guided by a blaring, ear piercing sound system, such as the La Loma branch. Renewal is fast depending on the time you drop by. What is worst is LTO tells you to go back after six months to secure your plastic license. In this day and age, I wanted to suggest, try recycling and I am serious on that.
Really, these government agencies doing biometrics should consider a common protocol of integration. Renewal should not be hard because captured data is already in the system so I do not understand why DFA satellite offices, in particular Ali Mall, to go paper, re-encodes data and asks applicant to check entries. Hello? That’s renewal!
To LTO, returning to your office to get a plastic license is like additional costs. From time outside work to transportation and additional stress. And when you ask where can you follow up, LTO staff will just point to a wall with so much information. Can you not be customer friendly? You caused the delay, right? Why don’t you pay for it just like how government penalizes Juan dela Cruz for delay, right?
Take the case of an incredulous directive of “no plates, no travel.” Amazing profundity. And the reasoning is so refreshing. To prove that plates are available already, DOTC shifted blame to vehicle dealers and pinned the vehicle owner by penalizing them during, of all time, Holy Week. Truly sick! We paid for the vehicles, paid for the taxes and when registered by dealers, no plates were available. Who do we blame? Again, LTO knows the peak season of a buyers market. Empirical basis: it took a company one year to get the plate and another for eight months. And the DOTC secretary, a lawyer at that, says, the law is there so we need to enforce it. Can we do the reverse Secretary Abaya? For every day of delay in our licenses and plates, we deduct a penalty from your budget and return these to consumers as rebates?
In response to the Easter message, we quote Pope Francis: “Every man, every woman who has to take up the service of government, must ask themselves two questions: ‘Do I love my people in order to serve them better? Am I humble and do I listen to everybody, to diverse opinions in order to choose the best path?’ If you don’t ask those questions, your governance will not be good.”
And we are not even talking of a publicly listed company duping foreign investors. Scheming further, the company again makes a capital call to bring in more foreign money for a losing venture because of bad management. Regulators seem to be blind and deaf despite three declared bankruptcies with same names in management positions said to be protected by key financial players and fund managers. Indeed, record high PSE index with minimum compliance and less monitoring. Minority shareholders’ rights are all thrown out of the window. Now that’s a strong economy.