The mechanism of the SECSIME is instituted in the DENR in order to (1) establish effective practices that prevent graft and corruption; (2) promote transparency and efficiency in the manner of transacting with the public; (3) devolve and democratize innovation in frontline services in all DENR offices down to the grassroots towards greater customer satisfaction; and (4) increase innovation in the DENR towards better execution of its mandate. Through the initiative, the Department was encouraged to craft a number of Citizen’s Charter for each Division/Office, provide feedback trays and boards, designate a “Frontliner of the Day”, establish a physical office-ICT interface as well as an internal (i.e. Anti-Corruption and Excellence in Service Specialists or ACESS) and external (i.e. Civil Service Commission) monitoring and evaluation system, and require relevant trainings to all personnel regarding Citizen’s Charter formulation, frontline service delivery improvement, and customer satisfaction.
Background and Problem
To promote integrity, accountability, proper management of public affairs and public property as well as to establish effective practices aimed at the prevention of graft and corruption in government, Republic Act No. 9485, otherwise known as the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA) of 2007, was enacted. In Sections 5 and 6 of the said Act, it particularly mandates all government agencies to regularly undertake evaluation and improvement of their transaction systems and procedures and re-engineer the same if deemed necessary to reduce red tape and processing time and to post their service standards called the Citizen’s Charter. Furthermore, Executive Order (EO) No. 176, series of 2014 institutionalizes the Integrity Management Program, the national corruption prevention program of the government, which covers six dimensions or management systems that are linked together to enhance both individual and systems integrity. Its main objective is to reduce the level of corruption vulnerabilities, ensure integrity in the public sector and improve public’s trust and confidence in the government. In commitment with the said policies, the DENR entailed at least five years of effort on the part of the concerned offices and personnel, particularly the members of the Citizen’s Charter Team (CCT), in order to contribute to the achievement of the ARTA and EO goals.
Solution and Impact
The SECSIME aims to go beyond the CCT by devolving and democratizing innovation in frontline services in DENR offices that will increase greater performance in service delivery. It is also a step towards readiness of the DENR should it decide to adopt the four-day work week scheme established by the Civil Service Commission. This initiative contributed to the development of Division-specific anti-corruption programs in the Department pursuant to the previous instructions of the Management.
As all Divisions and Offices in the DENR actively engaged in innovation, they made themselves more prepared for ongoing efforts on automation of systems in the Department, which requires preparation of process flows and the adoption of smart systems that are continually arising from the current ICT revolution (i.e. ICT terminal, online database, online applications and issuance of permits and documents). During its two-year implementation, SECSIME had already made impact to the Central Office down to its Regional Offices. This was done through numerous consultations and orientations that were made in the past two years throughout the country. Some of these were organized by the Proponent, while others were organized by the Regional Offices, eager to learn and benefit from SECSIME. SECSIME facilitated the attainment of DENR’s Quality Management System (QMS) which requires documentation of business processes as an essential requirement. It also facilitated the investigation of illegal titling in Region 1 as their SECSIME submissions included the procedure in land titling and the persons responsible for each step of the process. Lastly, SECSIME facilitated the realistic target setting for the different offices in the Department as each Office down to the Division level crafted their own process flows.
During the pilot year of implementation, 88 percent of all the Regional Offices complied with the submission of their own-crafted process flows.
For its second year of implementation, the rate of submissions increased. For the Central Office, 94 percent of its Offices and Divisions complied with SECSIME. For the Regional Offices, 100 percent submitted their own-crafted process flows; while for their respective Provincial and Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENROs and CENROs), 82 percent of all their divisions complied with SECSIME. The submissions of the Bureaus and Attached Agencies were far better as 89 percent of the Divisions under their jurisdiction complied with the submission.
- “SECSIME has helped our division to efficiently deliver output within a specific period of time. It has also made the management of workload easy by meeting the timeframe per document and expectation of our clients. Likewise, the system helps the Division in the target setting for IPCR/OPCR in the near future.” – Melinda C. Capistrano, Planning and Programming Division Chief
- “SECSIME promotes efficient and effective services to the public, aids in the promotion of customer satisfaction, and prevents the incidents of corruption in the operation of the Division. It also facilitates the easy and fast action/service being delivered to internal and external clients, enhances the capabilities of the employees through continuous learning and development program. Lastly, it boosts the morale of the employees through positive commendations from clients.” – Jane G. Bautista, Records Management Division Chief
- “As far as the Program Monitoring and Evaluation Division is concerned, SECSIME brought positive impacts in the operations of the Division. There was an immense improvement in the delivery of outputs, particularly in the generation of periodic accomplishment reports (monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual) for the management as well as other internal and external clients. Specifically, accomplishment reports are now produced very well on time owing to the conscious effort of each individual/employee in the Division to strictly abide by the prescribed period/time to complete their respective tasks. SECSIME not only espoused transparency but also accountability in the Division as the duties and responsibilities of each individual became well-defined thereby facilitating the process flow of report preparation.”– Monina M. Cunanan, Program Monitoring & Evaluation Division Chief
- “My personal experience since the Department lodges the DENR’s SECSIME, clientele’s comments are very inspiring to work for. I had received positive comments.” – Engr. Anita L. Iringan, DENR Action Officer
- “Each employee is now conscious of their role in the organization. They became more aware of their duties and accountabilities as an individual.” – Anita R. Bravante, Administrative Officer, Forest Management Bureau
- “Because of the usefulness in using SECSIME as experienced in audit engagements, future internal audits will be more effective, efficient, ethical and economical to the satisfaction of both internal and external customers.” – Cristina S. Rosario, Management Audit Division Chief