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Recto prods NBI to shape up, speed up clearance processing

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 02:21 PM January 14, 2014

Senator Ralph Recto. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Senate Pro Tempore Ralph Recto reminded  the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Tuesday of its commitment to process an NBI clearance application within 10 minutes.

Recto said the NBI gave this commitment to Congress when it sought  a P940-million budget for 2014.

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“Nang humingi ang National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) ng kulang-kulang 1 bilyong pisong budget para sa taong ito, P940 million to be exact, nangako itong i-proseso ang NBI clearance sa loob lamang ng 10 minuto,”  he said in a statement.

(When the National Bureau of Investigation  requested  almost P1 billion budget this year, P940 million to be exact, it promised to process  an NBI clearance  within 10 minutes only.)

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“This is the promissory note it issued to the Congress and to the public – that in exchange for receiving this amount, it will process half of the 5,354,000 clearance applications it will receive this year within 10 minutes.”

And this promise, Recto said, is now part of the law.

He then quoted  Page 444 of RA 10633 or the General Appropriations Act for 2014, which states that :  “Percentage of applications processed within 10 minutes of receipt: 50 percent.”

“In other words, NBI is telling us that if you arrive at our office asking for a clearance, you will be gone in 600 seconds,”  said the senator.

Recto said the NBI was probably confident of giving quick service that it issued another performance vow, which is 50 percent of its clearance clients would rate its service as “satisfactory.”

“Admittedly, it is too early to judge if the NBI can deliver on its promise, despite predictions by those who had experienced queuing before dawn at its headquarters that it won’t,”  he said.

“I sincerely hope that whatever delays in the processing of clearance at this stage are birth pains associated with the new system it is implementing because lining up from sunrise to sunset in getting a government document must never be allowed to become the new normal,” he added.

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Recto hopes that the delay in the processing  of NBI clearance  was just temporary saying that any reprieve the public might give “will be very, very short.”

The  NBI he said,  should use the  P545 million that it expects to earn this year to make the long lines in the bureau disappear.

“In addition to its promise of a 10-minute processing time of clearances, it has also pledged that 86% percent of the cases it will investigate will be completed within one year,”  he said.

Meantime, Recto said,   the “gridlock” at the  NBI could be addressed by asking employers to waive or at least suspend  the submission of NBI clearance by applicants or employees not holding sensitive positions; and fast-track the procurement of computer hardware needed by regional, satellite and field offices for issuing clearances but still compliant with all government procurement, accounting and audit laws.

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TAGS: government clearance, Nation, National Bureau of Investigation, News, Ralph Recto, Senate
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