Department of the Interior and Local Government
Best Practice Focus Area/s
Strategy, Citizens, Customers, Operations
This is a GBPR entry
The processing of Death Benefit Claims (DBC) was a long process that required many steps and was done manually. These led to long processing times. To address these challenges, DILG introduced the Information System–DBC Module. The program included features that allowed for this request’s quick and easy processing. Overall, it led to faster processing times and saved the department a lot of money.
Background and Problem
From 2002 until 2018, the processing of DBC was a long process done entirely manually, leading to long processing times. It took time to encode names, cross-check the names against the master list of barangay officials, mail and receive requests, and consolidate lists. On top of this, the process required many steps. To illustrate, the following used to be the necessary steps to accomplish this task:
- The City/Municipal Local Government Operations Officer (C/MLGOOs) usually receives the beneficiary’s DBC requests.
- It will then be verified in the Barangay Official Profile database whether the deceased barangay official was an incumbent in the current term or seated from a previous term.
- After verification, a form will be filled out indicating the name, position, date of death, province, city/municipality, and barangay. It will be sent to the provincial office and the required documents.
- The provincial office will then validate the documents and transfer them to another form addressed to the regional office together with the attached documents.
- The same procedure will be done by the regional DBC focal person and will be transferred into another form.
- It will then be sent to the National Barangay Operations Office (NBOO) before the cut-off date, which is every 25th of the month.
- It will then be transferred to the National Regional Summary of Funding Requests and DBC Consolidated Lists Forms, wherein errors in the typing of names and other details usually occur.
- The documents will then be transmitted with the cover memo and letter of request for fund allocation to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Overall, the processing time for availing of the service—from filling up the application form to settling the claim, took about 3 to 5 months.
Solution and Impact
To address these challenges, on 14 February 2018, the DILG issued Memorandum Circular 2018-17 to implement the online processing of DBC. And in July 2018, DILG offices, from field offices up to the Central Office, adopted the Information System–DBC Module.
A directive from the Department Secretary was also issued to all DILG Regional Directors to ensure that the regional and field offices of the department would no longer process this request manually and that they also utilize the program.
One of the significant features of the program was the database of barangay officials’ profiles. In it, the status of a barangay official can simply be changed from “active” to “deceased.” Then, the name of the deceased barangay official (DBO) will become visible in the DBC module and indicate the required documents to serve as evidentiary proof. After the DBO information is created, it will be submitted to the Provincial Office.
This feature made the process easier on the side of the Regional Offices. The names of DBOs can be seen in the “Claims to Process” program under the program dashboard. The DBC focal person should validate and submit the names of DBOs to be forwarded to NBOO. If a discrepancy is found, the DBC focal person only needs to click a button to return to the City/Municipality for correction.
Overall, these changes greatly reduced the long processing time for the DBC. Notably, a step that took 39 days was cut to 13 days. Moreover, the program made the process paperless, saving the department an estimated Php 4.3 million.
Notably, the Information Systems and Technology Management Service’s (ISTMS) programmers were able to develop the program in such a way that it would be user-friendly and easy to learn in just one sitting. And given that provincial field officers and regional employees are usually re-assigned to different tasks, the program’s user-friendliness means they will not have a hard time filling in the responsibility of a DBC focal person.
Because of its success, the online processing of DBC was included in the National ISO-quality management system as one of the multi-stage processes of the Department. Notably, as it was being included, some improvements were also made, reducing the number of days to process requests.
Moreover, despite the program not being designed for the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, the process of DBC was not slowed down. Notably, NBOOs, with the approval of management, had devised a scheme even when most of their employees were in a work from home alternative work arrangement.