TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY: Representatives from various bureaus and divisions of DHSUD attend the first day of the Writeshop on the DHSUD Citizen’s Charter on Tuesday with resource persons from the Anti-Red Tape Authority.

QUEZON CITY – Heeding President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for transparency and accountability in the government, the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) partnered with the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) in crafting the Department’s Citizen’s Charter that will detail the key services it offers to its stakeholders.

On June 1 to 3, DHSUD division chiefs and other key personnel trained with ARTA on creating the 181-page draft of the Department’s Charter that will facilitate ease of doing business in its public offerings. The training aimed to capacitate the agency in creating well-organized and comprehensive presentation of key processes and services, as well as the timeliness and requirements that would be of great use to the public in need of the housing department’s services.

“To further promote transparency in governance, it is very important for government agencies and officials to become more open and to ensure that information is readily available for the public. Hence, we are pushing for the development and implementation of our Citizen’s Charter,” DHSUD Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario said.

Headed by Undersecretary Meynardo Sabili as chairperson of the DHSUD’s Committee on Anti-Red Tape (CART) and Assistant Secretary Avelino Tolentino III as vice chairperson, the three-day “writeshop” was also held in compliance with ARTA’s mandate to assist government agencies in conforming to the provisions of Republic Act 11032 or the “Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018,” specifically Rule 4 of its Implementing Rules and Regulations.

“The DHSUD CART is a manifestation of our commitment to champion ease of doing business with full transparency in all our operations. Our Citizen’s Charter will serve as an indelible ink marking this pledge,” Secretary Del Rosario added.

A Citizen’s Charter is an essential tool for the public not only to gauge the performance of civil servants, but also to increase public participation in safeguarding transparency and accountability toward good governance.

Government offices are required by the ARTA to prominently display their Citizen’s Charter so that their clients could check if they are receiving their needed services in accordance to the standards of public service.

For his part, Undersecretary Sabili sent his well wishes to the training team, organizers and participants of the writeshop, saying, “Isa-puso n’yong lahat ang training na ito. Ang mga gagawin at matututunan ninyo ay nararapat n’yo lamang tandaan at isabuhay sa lahat ng panahon para sa dedikasyon natin sa pampublikong serbisyo at pagmamahal natin sa ating mga kababayan.”

The three-day writeshop — headed by DHSUD Undersecretary Meynardo Sabili as chairperson and DHSUD Assistant Secretary Avelino Tolentino III as vice chairperson — aims to train DHSUD officials and employees on creating a charter as a declaration of the agency’s commitment to transparency in public service. A draft of the Department’s Citizen’s Charter will be presented on the third day. (DHSUD)

In his closing speech, Assistant Secretary Tolentino commended the participants for making possible the “massive first step” the DHSUD had taken in creating a Citizen’s Charter.

“More than just to formulate a [Citizen’s Charter], I hope that this exercise has given us a better understanding of our processes, which translates to a better understanding of our mandates and a better understanding of our responsibilities,” Assistant Secretary Tolentino said.

The assistant secretary also expressed hope that the Charter would pave the right way for the fairly young housing department.

“By looking at your outputs, I am sure that [the Citizen’s Charter] will allow us to give the highest form of service to our clients, stakeholders and the public in general. Ang ating DHSUD ay lalong gaganda ang serbisyo at pamamalakad, at mas bibilis ang trabaho,” he added.

He also bared that the DHSUD Committee on Anti-Red Tape will conduct a debriefing to “find out the next steps, as well as polish and finalize the Citizen’s Charter based on your outputs. We will do this hand-in-hand, of course, with ARTA.” — KCM