The donation of time for uniformed personnel, beneficiaries
I come from a family of soldiers on my mother’s side. My grandfather, Colonel Antonio Banta, is a decorated soldier who is one of the few who received a Silver Star medal after WWII. So I am very familiar with all the sacrifices our uniformed personnel make to serve our country. I have always said that our uniformed personnel represent the best of us and, more than anyone else, they deserve the best service the government can provide. But that has not been the case with the processing of their benefit claims in recent years, not until now.
President Rodrigo Duterte himself has called on government agencies to streamline and automate the processes related to the processing of uniformed personnel benefit claims. He commented on the irrecoverable wasted time and the many unnecessary procedural steps that retired uniformed staff and their beneficiaries must go through just to process and receive their claims. In one of his talks on March 22, 2021, President Duterte lamented that other people who travel to Metro Manila to process their claims come from the provinces but are still not guaranteed to receive their claims. . Some have no choice but to return home because their documentary requirements are incomplete or because the office they visited has a shutdown system in place. These statements are not surprising, given that the President has always placed great importance on the welfare of uniformed personnel and significantly increased their salaries during his administration.
Two days later, the Anti-Red Paper Authority (ARTA) received its marching order in Presidential Decree 2021-019, which ordered several government agencies to submit compliance reports on streamlining processes regarding applications. of uniformed personnel.
On May 20, 2021, about two months after the President’s directive, we signed the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) 01, Series of 2021, which led to the creation of an Interagency Working Group (IATF) which focused on streamlining the performance of uniformed personnel. complaints. This group is led by ARTA Under Secretary Carlos Quita, a retired Brigadier General of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), who is currently our Chief of Staff and Deputy Director General for Administration and finances. With his background as a soldier and his wisdom on streamlining while working with ARTA, he is the perfect person for the job. The IATF is also made up of officials from AFP, Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA), Ministry of Home Affairs and Local Government, Commission of the National Police, the Philippine Coast Guard, the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Bureau of Prison Management. and penology.
Four more months passed and the IATF kept its promise to uniformed personnel across the country and hosted the virtual ceremony to launch the JMC 2, 2021 series, or Guidelines on the Processing of Retirement Benefits, Claims bonuses and other rights of uniformed personnel and their Beneficiaries as of September 30, 2021.
This publication aims to provide a comprehensive, simplified and unified or integrated set of guidelines and streamlined procedures for uniformed personnel and their beneficiaries. It also aims to speed up the submission of necessary requirements by applicants and the processing of applications by reducing documentary requirements, simplifying the process, and regionalizing and automating the entire process. The JMC suggests several ways to streamline the processes, including localization and automation of the whole process, which means that if they are from the provinces, they can do their transactions online and do not need to travel for hours to Metro Manila. Another feature is the way in which government agencies must implement measures for the use of digital signatures to sign and verify documents. Uniformed personnel will also sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoA) with the PSA, which should further expedite the processing of their requests. Documentary requirements and procedural steps have also been reduced.
With this show, we aim to give uniformed personnel the much-needed and well-deserved time to rest and spend with their loved ones. The long processes they undergo are an insult to the life of service they have devoted to the Philippines. Depriving them of that time with their families is something we cannot tolerate. We also hope to encourage and motivate our uniformed personnel who actively serve and carry out their duties. We want you to know how much we appreciate your hard work, persistence and sacrifice.
That being said, ARTA is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding with PNP on October 4, 2021 to step up enforcement of Republic Law 11032. With their support, we will be able to prosecute repairers and other offenders with renewed vigor. . . We are delighted with these newly launched shows by the authority and our growing partnerships with various government agencies. Rest assured that we will not stop working and coordinating with government agencies and our public and private stakeholders as long as the red tape problem persists in the country.
All of these changes for the improvement of services and benefits for our uniformed personnel are a testament to the President and his administration’s sincere desire to show the utmost gratitude to our living heroes in uniform. In the same way that they continue to fight for every Filipino, ARTA will also continue to step up its offensive against long-standing inefficiencies in services for the population. Together we can win the war against bureaucracy.
May God bless our men and women in uniform!