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Multinational Conference on Improving the Quality of Public Services Moscow, Russia, June 28-29, 2011. Legislating Citizen’s Charters to Promote Citizen-Centric Public Services. Magdalena L Mendoza Senior Fellow Development Academy of the Philippines. Outline of Presentation. Introduction

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Legislating Citizen’s Charters to Promote Citizen-Centric Public Services

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legislating citizen s charters to promote citizen centric public services

Multinational Conference on Improving the Quality of Public Services

Moscow, Russia, June 28-29, 2011

Legislating Citizen’s Charters to Promote Citizen-Centric Public Services

Magdalena L Mendoza

Senior Fellow

Development Academy of the Philippines

outline of presentation
Outline of Presentation
  • Introduction
  • Legislating Citizen’s Charter
    • Issue Formation
    • Policy Formulation
    • Policy Adoption
    • Policy Implementation
  • Evaluation and Conclusion

The Philippines

Location: Off the south-east coast of Asia and sprawls between Asia mainland and Australia between latitude 21°25'N and 4°23'N and longitude 116°E and 127°E.

Land Area: Total land area approximately 343,448.32 sq. km.; one of the largest island groups in the world (7,107 islands); divided into three island grouping: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Population: 88.57 million as of 2007, annual growth rate of 2.04%

Religion: Predominantly Christian

Form of Government: Democratic

Branches of Government: Executive, Legislative (bicameral), Judiciary (independent)

Source: NSCB 2011

development academy of the philippines
Development Academy of the Philippines
  • Training
  • Education
  • Policy Research
  • Technical Services
  • Center for Governance
  • Center for Quality and Competitiveness
  • Center for Knowledge Management
  • Center for Sustainable Human Development
  • Graduate School of Public and Development Management
  • DAP sa Mindanao
  • DAP Tagaytay Conference Facilities
what is a citizen s charter
What is a Citizen’s Charter
  • A Citizen’s Charter is an official document that communicates in simple terms information on the services offered by the government to its citizens.
  • It describes the step-by-step procedure for availing a particular service, and the guaranteed performance levels that citizens may expect for that service.
  • Initiative introduced in the United Kingdom by the Conservative Government under John Major in 1991
  • Adopted as a policy of over 20 countries to improve quality in the delivery of public services
citizens as customers
Citizens as “Customers”

“All public services are paid for by the individual citizens, either directly or through taxes. Citizens are, therefore, entitled to expect high quality services, responsive to their needs, provided efficiently at a reasonable cost. And where the state is engaged in regulating, taxing or administering justice, these functions too must be carried out fairly, effectively and courteously.”

Source: UK Government

legislating citizen s charter the policy process
Legislating Citizen’s Charter:The policy process

Issue Formation

Policy Agenda

Policy Evaluation

Policy Implementation

Policy Formulation

Policy Adoption

Issue Formation: Issue rhetoric and indicators elevated the problem of red tape at the consciousness of the public
  • Social Weather Surveys
    • Corruption seen by many Filipinos as an economic issue since it hurts investments
    • Perceived bribery in obtaining local permits, paying taxes, securing licenses from national government
  • Filipino Report Card
    • Concern on quality, affordability, adequacy and responsiveness of pro-poor services
  • Worst Red Tape Survey
    • Amplified concern on tedious and costly business transactions
  • World Competitiveness Yearbook
    • Philippines among the least competitive among 61 countries (2006)
  • Doing Business Report
    • Pronounced disparity in number of procedures, processing time, costs of doing business compared to OECD countries
  • Corruption Perception Index
    • Philippines received below median rating
red tape and corruption nexus
Red Tape and Corruption Nexus

“The bureaucratic process itself may be a source of delay and other costs. In that case, incentives for corruption arise as applicants try to get to the head of the queue or otherwise get better service. To further exploit their corrupt opportunities, officials may create or threaten to create red tape as a means of extracting bribes. This strategy is plausible in many real world applications because even honest officials need to take some time and trouble to process applications.”

Source: Rose-Ackerman 2006

corruption in public service delivery
Corruption in Public Service Delivery

“Lack of accountability can breed corruption in service delivery programs because the “exit mechanism” which is operating in a market context does not work well in the public sector.”

Source: Reinika and Svensson 2006

promoting citizen centric public services through citizen s charters
Promoting Citizen-Centric Public Services through Citizen’s Charters




  • Services offered
  • Obligations of citizens
  • Service standards
  • Statement of guarantee
  • Contact list
  • Suggestion and complaints procedure
  • Redress mechanism

Public trust


Citizen Satisfaction

Value for Taxpayers’ Money


Problem Stream

  • Indicators
  • Social Weather Surveys
  • Competitiveness Reports
  • Doing Business Reports
  • Worst Red Tape Survey
  • Events: Edsa Dos

Tilt effect:

RA No. 9485 or Anti-Red Tape Act (mandating Citizen’s Charter) enacted in 2007

Unique window of opportunity in 2006

Political Stream

Consensus building of various stakeholders

  • National mood: heightened level of intolerance to corruption
  • Organized move of the business sector to pressure government to cut red tape
  • Anti-corruption of a key plank of administration

Policy Stream

  • Formulation of government anti-red tape program
  • Anti-red tape policy entrepreneurs from academe, business, Congress

Consolidation of House and Senate Bills

republic act no 9485 anti red tape act of 2007
Republic Act No. 9485 (Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007)

An Act to Improve Efficiency in the Delivery of Government Service to the Public by Reducing Bureaucratic Red Tape, Preventing Graft and Corruption and Providing Penalties Therefor

Corruption = Monopoly + Discretion – Accountability*

* Heuristic formula of Robert Klitgaard

agency compliance
Agency Compliance

Type of government agency

Percent compliance







  • National government
  • Local government units
  • Government corporations
  • State universities and colleges
  • Local hospitals and local schools


Source: Civil Service Commission, March 2011

factors that affected implementation
Factors that Affected Implementation
  • Difficulty in the identifying frontline services and segregating simple vs complex transaction because of tight requirements
  • Reluctance of agencies to publish services standards which may not be realizable given their current level of resources
  • Gentle learning curve did not allow ample time for thorough transactions reengineering
report card survey in 2011
Report Card Survey in 2011

In terms of service quality, respondents expressed satisfaction with the correctness and accuracy of the service being provided by the agencies than the time it took to complete a transaction.

In all the areas measuring the satisfaction with service providers, majority of the respondents said they were either satisfied or very satisfied though a few dissatisfactions was also recorded.

Source: Civil Service Commission, 2011

report card survey in 20111
Report Card Survey in 2011

Among the six indicators for measuring the satisfaction with the frontline service providers, the respondents were most satisfied with the adherence of the service providers with the “First come-first served” principle though a few dissatisfaction was also recorded. Moreover, the respondents are more satisfied with the service quality in terms of correctness and accuracy than the time it took to complete a transaction.

policy evaluation sub optimal results
Policy Evaluation: Sub-optimal results
  • Citizen’s Charters creating islands of good practices on citizen-centric services
    • Mandated reengineering translated in simplification of some procedures
    • Made government processes transparent
    • Initiated citizen focus
    • Government agencies more conscious of service standards
  • But fragmentation in service delivery persists

Reduced to 2 days in 2010

Reduced to 38 days in 2010

  • Legislating Citizen’s Charters, while a necessary step, is a necessary but not a sufficient condition to establish a citizen-centric government.
  • There is a limit to what efficiency improvements agencies can do on their own (“silo” effect).
  • To strengthen citizen focus, Citizen’s Charter should be complemented with “smart regulation” and “horizontal government”.