BI in all-out war vs red tape

July 5, 2009 10:30 pm 

MANILA, July 5 — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) is waging an intensified and all-out war against red tape as it announced Sunday various projects that will be implemented to facilitate a faster and efficient delivery of the agency’s services to the transacting public.

BI Associate Commissioner Roy Almoro, who chairs the agency’s composite committee on good governance (CCGG), said several projects aimed at eradicating and preventing red tape have been lined up for implementation during the second semester of the year.

Almoro said the projects are pursuant to the provisions of the anti-red tape act and in line with the objectives of the BI moral renewal action plan that was initiated by Commissioner Marcelino Libanan to institute a stronger work ethic among the bureau’s employees and improve the quality of its services.

Libanan’s reform programs has gained momentum since last year with the successful launching of the Visa Issuance Made Simple (VIMS) project, which cut the processing time and reduced the documentary requirements for visa applications by an average of 58 percent.

An anti-fixers campaign was also launched which saw scores of persons being banned from the BI premises for engaging in unauthorized transactions.

A national operations center was also established to monitor the bureau’s activities throughout the country and 24-hour hotlines were installed to entertain complaints against illegal aliens and answer queries from the public. The ground floor lobby of the BI main office in Intramuros, Manila was renovated and a public assistance and information unit (PAIU) and a public attorney’s desk were established to service the needs of the transacting public.

Almoro submitted a list of the BI’s anti-red tape projects in a recent letter to Chairman Ricardo Saludo of the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

Among the projects are the holding of seminar-workshops on the anti-red tape act for BI employees and consultation meetings with BI stakeholders.

Also scheduled are the launching of a BI communication and advocacy network (BI-CAN) project; publication of an employees’ manual; capability building activities for frontline employees; reorganization of the CCGG; and introduction of a code of conduct and merit-based performance evaluation system for BI personnel.

The Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) has elevated the BI to third place in the list of 100 government agencies being periodically evaluated by the commission for their performance in fighting corruption.

Also, the BI is an active participant in the performance management system –office performance evaluation system (PMS-OPES) project of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) which aims to institute meritocracy in the bureaucracy. (PNA) LDV/FMB

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