The following Government Service Standard shall be adopted by all government agencies and instrumentalities:

a)    Acceptance of Applications or Requests

(1) All officers or employees shall accept written applications, requests, and/or documents being submitted by applicants or requesting parties of the offices or agencies.

(2) The receiving officer or employee shall perform a preliminary assessment of the application or request submitted with its supporting documents to ensure a more expeditious action on the application or request. The receiving officer or employee shall immediately inform the applicant or requesting party of any deficiency in the accompanying requirements, which shall be limited to those enumerated in the Citizen’s Charter.

(3) The receiving officer or employee shall assign a unique identification number to an       application or request, which shall be the identifying number for all subsequent transactions between the government and the applicant or requesting party regarding such specific application or request.

(4) The receiving officer or employee shall issue an acknowledgement receipt containing the seal of the agency, the name of the responsible officer or employee, his/her unit and designation, and the date and time of receipt of such application or request.

b)    Action of Officer

(1) All applications or requests submitted shall be acted upon by the assigned officer or      employee within the prescribed processing time stated in the Citizen’s Charter which shall not be longer than three (3) working days in the case of simple transactions and seven (7) working days in the case of complex transactions from the date the request and/or complete application or request was received.

For applications or requests involving activities which pose danger to public health, public    safety, public morals, public policy, and highly technical application, the prescribed processing time shall in no case be longer than twenty (20) working days or as determined by the government agency or instrumentality concerned, whichever is shorter.

The maximum time prescribed above may be extended only once for the same number of days, which shall be indicated in the Citizen’s Charter. Prior to the lapse of the processing time, the office or agency concerned shall notify the applicant or requesting party in writing of the reason for the extension and final date of release of the government service/s requested. Such written notification shall be signed by the applicant or requesting party to serve as proof of notice.

(2) No application or request shall be returned to the applicant or requesting party without appropriate action. In case an application or request is disapproved, the officer or employee who rendered the decision shall send a formal notice to the applicant or requesting party within the prescribed processing time, stating therein the reason for the disapproval. A finding by a competent authority of a violation of any or other laws by the applicant or requesting party shall constitute a valid ground for the disapproval of the application or request, without prejudice to other grounds provided in this Act or other pertinent laws.

c)     Denial of Application or Request for Access to Government Service.

Any denial of application or request for access to government service shall be fully explained in writing, stating the name of the person making the denial and the grounds upon which such denial is based. Any denial of application or request is deemed to have been made with the permission or clearance from the highest authority having jurisdiction over the government office or agency concerned.

d)    Limitation of Signatories

The number of signatories in any document shall be limited to a maximum of three (3) signatures which shall represent officers directly supervising the office or agency concerned: Provided, that in case the authorized signatory is on official business or official leave, an alternate shall be designated as signatory. Electronic signatures or pre-signed license, clearance, permit, certification or authorization with adequate security and control mechanism may be used.

e)     Electronic Versions of Licenses, Clearance, Permits, Certifications or Authorizations

All government agencies covered under Section 3 of this Act shall, when applicable, develop electronic versions of licenses, clearances, permits, certifications or authorizations with the same level of authority as that of the signed hard copy, which may be printed by the applicants or requesting parties in the convenience of their offices.

f)     Adoption of Working Schedules to Serve Applicants or Requesting Parties

Heads of   offices and agencies which render government services shall adopt appropriate working schedules to ensure that all applicants or requesting parties who are within their premises prior to the end of official working hours are attended to and served even during lunch break and after regular working hours.

g)    Identification Card

All employees transacting with the public shall be provided with an official identification card which shall be visibly worn during office hours.

h)    Establishment of Public Assistance/Complaints Desk

Each office or agency shall establish a public assistance/complaints desk in all their offices.