Apparently, the change in personnel at the Land Transportation Office’s Virac district office has not done wonders for the agency.
When the employees were reshuffled in reaction to widespread complaints of inefficiency, discourtesy, graft and other irregularities, the people naturally expected things to change for the better. It appears now that the new atmosphere was only good for the first few weeks, as the new people, all of whom are from mainland Bicol, have slid back to the old ways.
Anyone can now pass the driver’s examination without even taking it, as long as you fork over P900 to as much as P1,500 to the guy who oversees the test. Any deficiency with your vehicle from missing tail lights or broken speedometer cable will be overlooked, for a look-away fee of P200 or so. Insurance agents camped outside the LTO district office are said to be extorted a certain amount for the registration of every vehicle. The CCTV camera inside the office are of no use, with the cashier reportedly not handing over the change to paying clients, claiming he does not have coins.
All these disgusting practices at LTO Virac district office certainly played a part in the agency’s failed rating in the 2014 Repor Card Survey of the Civil Service Commission. Its ignominious feat in the RCS is notable in that it is the only LTO district office in Bicol, as well as the only government agency in Catanduanes, to land in the failure list.
In contrast, four offices in the island have been rated “Excellent” in the same survey: Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Revenue District Office No. 69 headed by RDO Arturo Abenoja Jr., the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) Virac field office, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC) Local Health Insurance Office headed by Dr. Ma. Zaila Bagadiong-Romero, and the Social Security System (SSS) Virac field office headed by Divina Avila.
The 2014 RCS covered a total of 1,023 service offices from nine government agencies, of which 984 offices or 96% got passing marks, with LTO Virac among the 39 or 4% which earned “Failed” ratings.
Among the passers, or those that obtained scores from 70 to 100, some 258 offices (25.22%) received an “Excellent” rating; 10 offices (0.98%) got “Outstanding”; 636 offices (62.17%) were rated “Good”; and 80 offices (7.82%) were “Acceptable”.
The RCS provides a quantitative measure of client perceptions on the quality, efficiency, and adequacy of public services. The CSC runs the survey as the lead implementer of Republic Act No. 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 (ARTA).
The CSC checks if the service office has a Citizen’s Charter that contains detailed commitments on transaction steps, cost, and time. It also checks if anti-fixing measures are implemented, if frontline staff wear identification cards, if there are no hidden transaction costs, if there is a manned Public Assistance and Complaints Desk, and if the service office observes the No Noon Break policy.
Also considered is overall client satisfaction based on the effectiveness of frontline service providers, service quality, physical setup of the office, availability of basic facilities, and client feedback.
Service offices which obtain a score of 90 to 100 are rated Excellent. Those with scores of 90 to 100 but have a failing mark in one area are rated Outstanding. Scores of 80-89.99 are rated Good; 70-79.99 are Acceptable; and 69.99 and below are Failed. Offices that fail in any of the two core areas, regardless of the final numerical rating, also incur a Failed rating.
LTO Virac’s shameful achievement should be brought to the attention of Congressman Cesar Sarmiento, as having such a non-performing office within the Lone District of Catanduanes is a stain on Cong CS’ excellent performance record.
At least two natives of this island passed the recent bar examinations. One is Ma. Kristine Rhem Crispino, a daughter of the late CNHS principal Leandro Crispino and WIFE Remedios of MoonwalK, Virac. Another is Philip Carloto Manzana, grandson of former Bagamanoc Mayor Sergio Carloto.
APPLES. The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note, and posted on the apple tray:
'Take only ONE. God is watching.'
Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies.
A child had written a note, 'Take all you want. God is watching the apples.'