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3S in Public Service Program
Sometimes, all it takes to succeed is to adopt a proven method and improve on it. Valenzuela City’s government improved on the best governance practices of Marikina City to provide simple and speedy services to its constituents. The former mayor of Marikina has acknowledged that Valenzuela City’s LGU was able to achieve in only three years what took them almost a decade to accomplish!
The quest for good governance and a business friendly environment led Valenzuela City’s LGU to formulate its Simple and Speedy Public Service Program or 3S in Public Service. The program aims to eradicate graft and corruption, flatten the organizational structure of the city government, simplify and streamline business transactions, and enjoin the community to provide feedback and suggestions on how to further improve government services.
Previously, transactions with the government took as much as 14 or even 20 days to complete due to the numerous offices and personnel that one had to deal with. The processes were cumbersome and complicated. With 3S in place, the number of transactions was streamlined from 11 to three and it now takes only 20 minutes to obtain a business permit.
A post-audit scheme was also put in place to allow businesses to be up and running in no time. After the issuance of the business permit, the owners are given a month to comply with all the requirements. The Business Compliance Task Force then inspects the establishments and violators are closed down. The post-audit system also provides information that can help the city become more responsive to the needs of enterprises and at the same time protect the interest of its citizens.
By making use of information technology and computerizing its systems, the city is now able to provide prompt assistance to taxpayers and monitor compliance. With a Geographic Information System (GIS) in place, the LGU is able to track taxable businesses and properties in the city. The city government also made it known to the taxpayers that it knows who and where they are. To encourage compliance, taxpayers are also provided comfortable lounges, assistance, and courteous service. Taxpayers now also have the option to pay online.
A flat organizational structure was adopted by the city to minimize layers of management and make operations flexible and more responsive. The work environment was redesigned to foster greater accountability. Panels in offices were made transparent so that transactions are visible to everyone. Team meetings are regularly held to foster collaboration and communication among officials and employees.
A flat organizational structure was adopted by the city to minimize layers of management and make operations flexible and more responsive. The work environment was redesigned to foster greater accountability. Panels in offices were made transparent so that transactions are visible to everyone. Team meetings are regularly held to foster collaboration and communication among officials and employees.
Through the 3S program, the city increased its revenues to PhP 1.74 billion in 2011—this is twice its income in 2004. On average, the annual income of the city grew by more than 25 percent annually, which has enabled the LGU to invest in infrastructure improvement, peace and order enhancement, educational program development and better health care delivery for its residents.
The city managed to construct cemented roads, school buildings, jail houses, courtrooms, lying-in clinics, fully functional barangay health centers, day care centers, and waste management facilities.
The Valenzuela government also provided capacity development training for all its teachers and developed teaching manuals and workbooks for all learners. This enabled students in the city to score highest in the National Achievement Test (NAT) for NCR in 2011.
With investments in peace and order through capacity building of the police force and essential support for protective services and the Katarungang Pambarangay, the city was able to reduce crime incidence and amicably settle most interpersonal disputes.
In terms of health care delivery, Valenzuela’s system includes quality primary health care, quality maternal and child care, and health insurance for indigent families. The city is also constructing the West Emergency Hospital and Dialysis Center to cater to poor families. Moreover, it also fields a Mobile Health Clinic and a Mobile Pharmacy to respond to the needs of poor families.
To ensure the sustainability of the 3S program, the LGU is now in the midst of issuing the relevant supporting legislation. It is now also mentoring other cities which plan to adopt the program.
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