Press Release
September 30, 2017

Put budget promises like 15-min PNP response, 40-kph MRT speed in 'BOSS'

One post-budget enactment document the government can publish is a catalogue of performance guarantees issued by agencies, from how fast travellers should exit out of airport immigration queues to police response time.

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, who made this proposal, even has a name for this handy compilation of agency "promissory notes" - BOSS, or Booklet of Service Speed.

"Pwede rin tawaging Booklet of Service Standards," said Recto, explaining that the thin, pocket-size booklet will contain "processing time for applied documents like licenses, response time from law enforcers like the police and firemen, and completion period for services asked. "

Recto said these performance indicators are included in the national budget, part of reforms which link funds given to an agency to a set of promised outcomes.

"Sa ngayon kasi every peso is matched with performance. Kaya doon sa mga requests ng mga ahensya, sinasabi nila na na kapag ganito ang pondong ibinigay ninyo sa amin, ito ang mabilis na serbisyo na kapalit," Recto said.

Among the "performance guarantees" embedded in next year's national budget are "the maximum 7-minute response time of firemen to all distress calls and the PNP vow to respond within 15 minutes to all calls for assistance."

One particular interest to Metro Manilans, Recto said, is the guarantee by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority that road traffic obstructions will be cleared within 15 minutes and for flood water to substantially recede within 20 minutes.

Recto said the Bureau of Immigration has promised "a gone in 40 seconds rule" in immigration exit and entry queues.

"But that benchmark applies to the moment the passport is handed over to the officer. What passengers want is a standard from the moment they queue," he said.

In the case of passports, of which 3.1 million will be issued next year, the DFA has promised that these will be issued within the prescribed period.

The Department of Transportation has promised a 20 percent reduction in airline travel time delays.

The DOTr has also included in its 2018 performance guarantees an average 40 kilometer per hour speed of MRT trains.

However, it has yet to determine its maximum processing time for driver's licenses and car registrations for 2018.

But for those registering new vehicles, the DOTr's standing pledge, based on the 2017 national budget, is that you will get your registration papers, complete with plates and stickers, within seven days.

For motor vehicle registration renewals, the current deadline, per the 2017 GAA, is two hours, complete with stickers.

For those renewing their driver's license, the unchanged DOTR's pledge for the year is that 90 percent of applications will be renewed within one hour.

Some agency targets are outcome-based, like the ones the Department of Health has attached to its P164.9 billion request. The DOH said more than 90 percent of TB cases referred to it will be treated and healed.

"In the case of the Department of Public Works and Highways, its budget says 1,592 kilometers of new roads and 1,504 kilometers for repair will be completed within deadline and according to specifications," he said.

For the DENR, its goal is to plant 197 million seedlings in 201,852 hectares of new tree plantations. Recto said the DENR should not only guarantee it will achieve this, "but provide proof to senators that billions of trees have been planted in more than one million hectares since 2010."

Recto said "minimum speed limits" should be imposed in the agency with the biggest appropriation but also plagued by slow spending, the Department of Education.

"To avoid backlogs which hurt students, a six-month deadline should be imposed in hiring teachers and a one-year deadline in building classrooms," Recto said. For 2018, Malacañang has asked Congress for money for new 81,100 teachers and 47,000 classrooms.

Recto said the budgets of agencies do not only come with peso signs but with performance guarantees.

"Sa DSWD, indicated doon kung ilang milyong kiddie meals ang kanilang ihahain sa mga day care centers. Sa agriculture agencies, bean-counted ang mga pangako, mula sa ilang tonelada ang projected tilapia production hanggang sa hectares of coconut lands replanted."

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