Beginning December 3, citizens may access the government’s central helpline, dubbed Contact Center ng Bayan (CCB), by sending a text message to 090-888-16565.
Civil Service Commission (CSC) Chairman Francisco T. Duque III said opening additional channels or means for reaching the CCB will make it easier and more convenient for the public to complain about inefficiency, discourtesy, and fixing in government services.
“Through the Contact Center ng Bayan, we aim to engage citizens to be the primary drivers of the kind of service they want to get from their civil servants,” said Duque.
Last September 27, the CSC, with fellow members of the CCB Steering Committee from the Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), launched the program. For its initial implementation, six agencies – CSC, National Computer Center, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, Department of Health, and DTI – have electronically interconnected their call centers to the CCB.
The CCB is accessible nationwide by dialing 1-6565 using PLDT, Smart, and Digitel landlines, Mondays to Fridays, from 8 am to 5 pm. Each call to 1-6565 is charged P5.00 plus VAT.
Aside from inquiring about the services and basic policies of the six agencies, clients may call the CCB for instances of red tape and poor quality service in government agencies, such as fixing or collusion with fixers, disruption of service during lunch break, no Citizen’s Charter posted within the agency premises, and imposition of additional fees or requirements not stated in the Citizen’s Charter.
More than a month from being launched, the CCB has received 478 calls, some of which are complaints on slow processing of applications.
The setting up of the CCB is anchored on the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA) of 2007, a law which aims to improve public service delivery.