Way back in 2007, the Philippine legislation has passed the Anti-Red Tape Act. This was meant to create a framework of implementing rules for all government transactions in order to speed up important processes. However, years later in 2015, the Philippines still places 103rd out of 189 world economies, when ranked according to ease of doing business. Red tape is still a prevalent problem for businesses.
Among the different employees in any business, it is usually the HR that directly coordinates with the government most often. Due to this, they face the brunt of this red tape. A study mentions that for Filipino senior managers, around 5% of the time is allotted to meeting government regulations.
Needless to say, red tape is a fact of Philippine business life. The only way it will be eliminated is with a thorough government effort. However, while HR personnel cannot totally evade it, they can at least minimize its impact by improving their own processes.
Fighting Bureaucratic Red Tape — HR Style
1. Go Electronic.
Just like in payroll, manual record-keeping is prone to many mistakes.
This is why going electronic is a very important consideration. There are several examples of software that can be used to keep all employee documents in one place, where they can be edited and generated at the click of a button.
There are also software specialized for different government forms. For example, there is the SSS R3 program that is given to companies as soon as they register with SSS. It is important to learn how to use this so that all employee contributions are updated accordingly.
By keeping everything organized in digital files, it will be easier to find, edit, correct, and submit information to government agencies.
2. Keep All Employee Information Updated.
Did any of your employees recently marry? Perhaps tax codes changed from S1 to S2? Not every employee approaches the HR to update their information when needed. Hence, the company should do proactive steps to prevent future government runarounds due to wrong or outdated information.
Have a campaign to have your employees update their details at least every month. This keeps your files up to date. It is also a great thing if you have an online portal where the employees can view and edit their information anytime. By prompting them at regular intervals, your HR can have a hands-off yet effective approach to avoiding government red tape.
3. Have A Point Person For All Transactions.
When submitting government documents, it is ideal for companies to submit at the branch where they signed up for. It is even more ideal if they can submit to the same person or department.
Ideally, a single person can be assigned to do the regular task of information submission. This builds a personal relationship between the two ends of the transaction. At the same time, it increases the chance for the company to be given priority for government processes.
Note that this does NOT amount to actively courting favor from government employees. Point persons are important as the image of the company — a good working relationship strengthens the company’s reputation with those they deal with.
4. Keep All Transaction Details
Companies are often better equipped than the government here in the Philippines. This is why it falls to the companies to securely backup all records of transactions. This includes not only the documents and receipts, but also timestamps of when these transactions happened (whenever possible). This ensures that you have proof to show when something goes wrong.