Monday, September 03, 2012

Portrait of the Philippine Congress and Senate as Plagiarists

Did the Philippine government plagiarize the bureaucratic metrification idea, including the performance pledge , of the Street Strategist in his column of January 10, 2002 and adopted it without attribution when it enacted into law Republic Act 9485 (The Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007)?

The businessman Manny Pangilinan accused of plagiarism had to resign from his position in the Ateneo de Manila University.

Supreme Court Justice Mariano del Castillo has been found in substance and form to be impeachable because of plagiarism.

Senator Vicente Sotto, has been accused of plagiarism in a couple of his Senate speeches.

The professors and teachers in the universities are now cracking down on students for plagiarism.

Question: What if it is the Philippine government and its branches and instrumentalities are plagiarizing?

The point in question is the performance pledge proposal in the January 10, 2002 column of the Street Strategist titled "Metrics Wizard."

Quoted from "Metrics Wizard"
In conclusion, the mandate for the metrification of bureaucratic performance should come from no less than the President of the Republic; demanded by no less than the Street Strategist.
If the President so resolves, we would have performance pledges from all agencies that serve the public directly within a month or two.
I am strongly suggesting to the President of the Republic to issue an Executive Order requiring all government agencies to develop and publish performance pledges.
The performance pledge will be composed of identifiable major activities of the concerned agency and their corresponding performance metrics. At the end of the year, all agencies must submit performance evaluations against these metrics.

I wrote the Metrics Wizard in 2002. In 2007, the congress and the senate pass a bill which was signed into law by the President RA 9485 which plagiarized the Performance Pledge idea from the Metrics Wizard column of the Street Strategist.

You be the judge: Did the Philippine government plagiarize the Street Strategist five years after the fact?

Anyway, here is the full version of the column, followed by the text of RA 9485. Compare the both and see if plagiarism was committed.


In which the Street Strategist demands the metrification of
 bureaucratic performance

 am the metrics wizard. Specifically for today, I am an expert on performance metrics.
After all, perhaps nobody had been subjected to more performance metrics than myself. School and work authorities have subjected me to a continuous onslaught of performance metrics longer and more frequently than the normal guy.
And perhaps the most important thing is that I failed most of these metrics. With failures come horrendous memories that repeat forever – all the agonies of defeat in eternal slow motion.

The memory-failure equation
Indeed, nothing is etched deeper in your mind and memory than the agony of a failure, therefore the more failures you have, the better your memory is.
Since I am an expert on metrics, I hereby immediately state a mathematical proposition: The intensity of your memory (m) is directly proportional to the intensity of your failure (f). Or, m=kf, where k is the constant of proportionality.
Not bad as a mathematician, huh? Don’t worry, proportionality equations are taught in high school physics, and if you forgot them, then probably you didn’t have a tough time. You probably learned it in one go, passed the exams, and forgot about it the next year.
See what I mean? Your memory of high school physics is not as intense as mine because you did not suffer the ignominious, excruciating and catastrophic failures I had.
Anyway, I was just saying I failed most performance metrics, and it is time for others to be subjected to the same system and to suffer the same fate.

“Oh my God!”
I seldom get the chance to attend conferences primarily because my station in life is not dignified enough to qualify for these events.
In a particular exception though, I found myself in an international conference likewise attended by our country’s experts.
During one of the coffee breaks, an acquaintance whom I haven’t seen in a decade approached me. After exchanging pleasantries, he related to me an amusing anecdote that happened in one of the highly technical sessions regarding electric power quality delivered by an expert of more than 15 years in experience.
During the question-and-answer period that followed the presentation, the usual technical gibberish ensued. The monotony was shattered when upon seeing a conference participant approach the microphone in the middle of the room – within earshot of my friend who was sitting in front – the presenter softly exclaimed: “Oh, my God!”
Intrigued that the mere presence of a participant could elicit such a reaction from a power systems expert with a master’s degree, my friend was forced to turn his head.
After identifying himself, the person said: “I have only one question: Where are the metrics?”
The presenter did not appear to understand the question. He looked at the participant, obviously appealing for a clarification. “Would the gentleman care to clarify his question?”
It’s bad enough if you can’t answer the question, it’s even worse if you can’t understand the question.
“I mean, where are the metrics, the parameters, the benchmarks?” the participant said. “How could we determine quality? Is there some kind of a six-sigma parameter, for example? “
“Ah, the benchmarks,” the presenter said, relieved.
Now there’s the flash of recognition. It was now apparent that the presenter misheard the question to be about a mathematical “matrix” while the questioner was referring to “metrics.” Little did the presenter know that the querying participant was deliberately toying with these homonyms to throw the him off-guard.  The questioner actually deliberately mispronounced “metrics” as “matrix.”
The entire session hall probably did not realize that the participant was a master wordsmith who intentionally kept the question vague by keeping it short and deliberately misleading.
At any rate, the query turned out to be on the mark because the presenter admitted they have not yet gathered statistical data useful enough for benchmarks due to the extremely high cost of obtaining the same from the company’s power grid.
The Q&A proceeded in a lively manner with conference participants from Europe and South Africa offering their own metrics from their own grids.
Overall, it was an excellent presentation and, hopefully, the firm could gather enough data to support properly defined metrics.

All vision, all mission
What is the relevance of the above anecdote? The recent government-sponsored economic summit reminded me of the above incident because while economists and government bureaucrats forever talk of plans and visions in their summits, the engineers and scientists talk of action and metrics.
I expected nothing of those economic summits but platitudes, visions, and missions. I strongly abhor motherhood statements on how to make our country great because it’s simply a waste of energy. I’d rather tell you how big a failure I am, rather than pontificate that our country depends on good law abiding citizens – of course, it does.
Yes, we are the best in the world in terms of developing visions and missions.

Planners and sycophants
All government agencies have medium term and long term plans, after all, they have casual workers, technical assistants, and corporate planning divisions who do nothing but update their old plans.
The government agencies are also wizards at sycophantic acronyms for economic projects carrying the initials of the country’s current Chief Executive. These acronym wizards ought to be executed.
Furthermore, we know what ails our society. We can identify what is wrong, and we all say stop corruption, start changing ourselves, follow traffic rules, and so on, yet why is it that after decades of exhortations we are still in the same abyss of corruption and inefficiency?
We are expert in making memos, rules and regulations that even acquiring a copy of the birth certificate is a task that requires hundreds of thousands of people applying for authenticated copies to take half a day off from work.
Wow, there’s even a new rule requiring drug tests on all applicants for driving license. I hope somebody stands up to take credit for inventing this inane rule.
Why are we all suffering from government corruption and inefficiency?

Practical, actionable
Oh, yes, you are complaining that while I’m out here pontificating I’m not actually helping the country either, by writing about George Harrison or about quaternions. I’m sorry but I’m just a mere armchair analyst.
Wait, I think I have one contribution. I’m very serious about this and I hope the Chief Executive of the country takes me seriously as well.
There are two major issues haunting the government: corruption and inefficiency. I’ll tackle corruption some other time.
How do we tackle inefficiency? I hereby identify major issues:
First: We love to create ad-hoc committees or task forces that endeavor to perform functions that are supposed to be done by an existing government agency. Perpetually, there’s a police task force doing what the regular police are supposed to be doing anyway.
We create committees and agencies that duplicate existing functions and somehow all these committees evolve into permanent fixtures because the members don’t want to go back to what they were doing before. The committees eventually become agencies and grow even bigger.
In fact, when I heard about the plans to have an inter-agency anti-corruption superbody, I immediately commented to a friend who has been attending the organizational meetings that such will not work. Each nominee to this committee will be beholden to his original agency and therefore will protect his buddies in case they are the ones being investigated. It’s called presumption of innocence.
If you want to have an anti-corruption agency it has to be a single independent institution of idealists. Or clone Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) lock, stock and barrel.
By the way, in an eerie case of serendipity, the ICAC was created when the Crown Colony’s Governor had testimonies, tapes and films showing that the highest ranking police official was actually involved in drugs, crime, and corruption.
Going back, stop this propensity for ad-hoc committees and let the regular civil service perform their assigned tasks.
In fact, I’m watching with seriousness certain movements in Congress calling for the abolition of the Bureau of Customs. And what does the National Computer Center actually do?
Second: We love to make rules some of which are inane and useless. This contributes to red tape, and each additional requirement, by the way, is a source of corruption because people pay to skip the requirement that is useless in the first place. How many documents do you need to apply for an environmental clearance certificate?
Third: Despite demurrers that there are only a few rotten eggs in the basket, being in government service has become the license by civil servants to work slower in shorter actual hours, with poor delivery of the service. Come to think of it, good manners and efficient service are exceptions to the rule that we are surprised if a civil servant grants us these blessings. Does mail get across the metro area in half a day?
Fourth: There are no performance metrics. Yes, there are visions, missions, medium term plans, long term plans, and policy statements, but how many agencies have published their own performance metrics?

Performance metrics
Given my pseudo-expertise on performance metrics and my absolute freedom to think, now comes my contribution to improving the bureaucracy: I am strongly suggesting to the President of the Republic to issue an Executive Order requiring all government agencies to develop and publish performance pledges.
The performance pledge will be composed of identifiable major activities of the concerned agency and their corresponding performance metrics. At the end of the year, all agencies must submit performance evaluations against these metrics.
Obviously, not all activities can be measured by a performance pledge but if we really look closely there are some activities that somehow deal directly with the public or with another agency that can be easily measured.
The best way to illustrate these is to lift performance pledges from other countries who have implemented them such as our close neighbor Hong Kong.
Here are some performance pledges and metrics adopted in Hong Kong swiping one each from a few agencies to show how widely pledges are implemented:
Printing Department: “Produce and deliver identity cards within 3 working days.”
Intellectual Property Department: “Time taken to process or record 80% of applications for change of records of registered trade mark: 1.5 months”
Transport Department: “First issue and renewal of full driving licence: 40-75 mins.”
Land Registration Dept: “Registration of land documents: 20 working days”
Leisure Services: “Applications for enrolment in recreation and sports activities: within 20 minutes queueing time except peak period.”
Companies Registry: Incorporation/Registration of New Companies: 6 days.
Libraries: “Applying for a new library card: 10 mins.”
Urban Services Department: ““Toilets cleansed at least twice a day between 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m., and those with a high usage rate provided with attendants for the same hours. Minor defects in public toilets will normally be rectified within 24 hours.
As for performance review, here is an example from Hong Kong Post: “We met and exceeded 20 of the 22 service pledges. In particular we were able to achieve a success rate of 98.5% for next-day delivery of local letters.”
What’s keeping the entire government bureaucracy to embark on performance metrification?

One step up
Will the performance metric solve corruption? Not directly, but it is a step in the right direction. And I have to point out that this is not a motherhood statement; we have a practical and quantifiable proposal.
The main advantage of adopting performance metrics is that we can evaluate performance on major tasks with transparency. There is no need to adopt metrics to all activities but it can be done step by step for major ones. For the first year, maybe five to ten activities can be measured.
Another flow-on effect of this process is that it will encourage meritocracy because the promotion can be handed over to the executive who can deliver better performance pledges. One postmaster may say, “If you promote me, I can deliver mail within the metro cities within the day if the mail is posted before 9 a.m.
There is the temptation to understate the metric thereby making it easily attainable. But this anomaly would be rectified when some competing colleague will then propose to improve the performance if he is given the chance. This competition is one truth-inducing scheme. Somewhere along the process, we can introduce other truth-inducing schemes to prevent understatement of performance goals or fudging of data.
Most of all, this will change what people expect of government service and change the mindset of the civil servants.
If the President so resolves, we would have performance pledges from all agencies that serve the public directly within a month or two.
This is a non-tariff measure, meaning that it does not cost much to implement. All that is needed is a simple executive order. The order will grant the agencies a few weeks to identify the initial set of activities to be measured. These activities are typically those that deal directly with the public such as post offices, licensing, passports, and retirement and benefits processing.
Note that I emphasize an initial set of activities rather than all the agency activities being measured all at once.
Does this plan sound too easy? Yes, it does sound simple which could have been implemented decades ago, but some people don’t see things the way we do. Now, let’s hope they find some value in implementing the performance pledge.
All I can say is, we use metrics all the time in school to exact the best performance.
Ironically, the government whose biggest department in terms of budget is the Department of Education doesn’t adopt metrics for its own performance.
Visit the websites of the agencies and you can read their vision, mission, policy statements and all about their history but there is never a word on their performance pledge with specific performance metrics.
Hey, business executives, don’t think I forgot about you. You are also guilty – you don’t have a performance pledges either; they’re not in your websites or annual reports.
Ruminate on this one of the many performance pledges by a private telecom company in Hong Kong: “We will install your residential telephone line within seven days of the order. If we fail to install your telephone line as promised, you can claim one month’s free line rental for every day we are late.”
Note that the one-month rebate is for every single day of delay. The company backs up its performance pledge with real monetary value. Can you top that?

Presidential mandate
Lord Kelvin, the physicist who handed us the laws of thermodynamics and entropy was a believer of metrics: “I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind.”
Ever since I read it in college, this quote has become one of my favorites because it encouraged me to understand the equations behind concepts and to abhor motherhood political statements. And this quote should be memorized by the government bureaucrats.
In conclusion, the mandate for the metrification of bureaucratic performance should come from no less than the President of the Republic; demanded by no less than the Street Strategist.
I have to go now. By the way, remember that conference and the coffee break with my friend? He revealed that he had not bothered to look who asked questions but he made an exception by turning around when the expert said, “Oh, my God!”
That the presenter was thinking of the word “matrix” when the participant used “metrics” was logical because – as it turned out – the two of them had fought mind games before as teacher and student, respectively, in mostly mathematical topics which included matrix analysis. Therefore, when the participant used the word “metrics,” the presenter thought it was “matrix.”  The former student deliberately tried to confuse his former teacher by leading the latter to think of matrix, not metrics.
Not that it was an important detail, but it showed the frames of mind of the two protagonists, who have met again after so many years.
And when my friend, who was sitting in front, turned to look at this mysterious guy standing before the microphone, that was the time he knew I also attended the conference. He said, “It was you.”
By the way, certainly not everything can be quantified, although we should strive to quantify as much as possible, otherwise how do you quantify the haphazard train of thought and the aimless analysis of the Street Strategist?
(Thads Bentulan, January 10, 2002)
* * * * * t * * * * *


Republic of the Philippines
Congress of the Philippines

Metro Manila

Thirteenth Congress
Third Special Session

Begun and held in Metro Manila, on Monday, the nineteenth day of February, two thousand seven.

Republic Act No. 9485 June 02, 2007


Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

SECTION 1. Short Title. - This Act shall be known as the "Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007".

SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy. - It is hereby declared the policy of the State to promote integrity, accountability, proper management of public affairs and public property as well as to establish effective practices aimed at the prevention of graft and corruption in government. Towards this end, the State shall maintain honesty and responsibility among its public officials and employees, and shall take appropriate measures to promote transparency in each agency with regard to the manner of transacting with the public, which shall encompass a program for the adoption of simplified procedures that will reduce red tape and expedite transactions in government.

SEC. 3. Coverage. - This Act shall apply to all government offices and agencies including local government units and government-owned or -controlled corporations that provide frontline services as defined in this Act. Those performing judicial, quasi-judicial and legislative functions are excluded from the coverage of this Act.

SEC. 4. Definition of Terms. - As used in this Act, the following terms are defined as follows:

(a) "Simple Transactions" refer to requests or applications submitted by clients of a government office or agency which only require ministerial actions on the part of the public officer or employee, or that which present only inconsequential issues for the resolution by an officer or employee of said government office.

(b) "Complex Transactions" refer to requests or applications submitted by clients of a government office which necessitate the use of discretion in the resolution of complicated issues by an officer or employee of said government office, such transaction to be determined by the office concerned.

(c) "Frontline Service" refers to the process or transaction between clients and government offices or agencies involving applications for any privilege, right, permit, reward, license, concession, or for any modification, renewal or extension of the enumerated applications and/or requests which are acted upon in the ordinary course of business of the agency or office concerned.

(d) "Action" refers to the written approval or disapproval made by a government office or agency on the application or request submitted by a client for processing.

(e) "Officer or Employee" refers to a person employed in a government office or agency required to perform specific duties and responsibilities related to the application or request submitted by a client for processing.

(f) "Irrevelant requirement" refer to any document or performance of an act not directly material to the resolution of the issues raised in the request or needed in the application submitted by the client.

(g) "Fixer" refers to any individual whether or not officially involved in the operation of a government office or agency who has access to people working therein, and whether or not in collusion with them, facilitates speedy completion of transactions for pecuniary gain or any other advantage or consideration.

SEC. 5 Reengineering of Systems and Procedures. - All offices and agencies which provide frontline services are hereby mandated to regularly undertake time and motion studies, undergo evaluation and improvement of their transaction systems and procedures and re-engineer the same if deemed necessary to reduce bureaucratic red tape and processing time.

SEC. 6. Citizen's Charter. - All government agencies including departments, bureaus, offices, instrumentalities, or government-owned and/or controlled corporations, or local government or district units shall set up their respective service standards to be known as the Citizen's Charter in the form of information billboards which should be posted at the main entrance of offices or at the most conspicuous place, and in the form of published materials written either in English, Filipino, or in the local dialect, that detail:

(a) The procedure to obtain a particular service;

(b) The person/s responsible for each step;

(c) The maximum time to conclude the process;

(d) The document/s to be presented by the customer, if necessary;

(e) The amount of fees, if necessary; and

(f) The procedure for filing complaints.

SEC. 7. Accountability of the Heads of Offices and Agencies. - The head of the office or agency shall be primarily responsible for the implementation of this Act and shall be held accountable to the public in rendering fast, efficient, convenient and reliable service. All transactions and processes are deemed to have been made with the permission or clearance from the highest authority having jurisdiction over the government office or agency concerned.

SEC. 8. Accessing Frontline Services. - The following shall be adopted by all government offices and agencies:

(a) Acceptance of Applications and Request - (1) All officers or employees shall accept written applications, requests, and/or documents being submitted by clients of the office or agencies.

(2) The responsible officer or employee shall acknowledge receipt of such application and/or request by writing or printing clearly thereon his/her name, the unit where he/she is connected with, and the time and date of receipt.

(3) The receiving officer or employee shall perform a preliminary assessment of the request so as to promote a more expeditious action on requests.

(b) Action of Offices - (1) All applications and/or requests submitted shall be acted upon by the assigned officer or employee during the period stated in the Citizen's Charter which shall not be longer than five working days in the case of simple transactions and ten (10) working days in the case of complex transactions from the date the request or application was received. Depending on the nature of the frontline services requested or the mandate of the office or agency under unusual circumstances, the maximum time prescribed above may be extended. For the extension due to nature of frontline services or the mandate of the office or agency concerned the period for the delivery of frontline services shall be indicated in the Citizen's Charter. The office or agency concerned shall notify the requesting party in writing of the reason for the extension and the final date of release for the extension and the final date of release of the frontline service/s requested.

(2) No application or request shall be returned to the client 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 client within five working days from the receipt of the request and/or application, stating therein the reason for the disapproval including a list of specific requirement/s which the client failed to submit.

(c) Denial of Request for Access to Government Service - Any denial of 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 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 five signatures which shall represent officers directly supervising the office or agency concerned.

(e) Adoption of Working Schedules to Serve Clients - Heads of offices and agencies which render frontline services shall adopt appropriate working schedules to ensure that all clients 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.

(f) Identification Card - All employees transacting with the public shall be provided with an official identification card which should be visibly worn during office hours.

(g) Establishment of Public Assistance/Complaints Desk - Each office or agency shall establish a public assistance/complaints desk in all their offices.

SEC. 9. Automatic Extension of Permits and Licenses. - - If a government office or agency fails to act on an application and/or request for renewal of a license, permit or authority subject for renewal within the prescribed period, said permit, license or authority shall automatically be extended until a decision or resolution is rendered on the application for renewal: Provided, That the automatic extension shall not apply when the permit, license, or authority covers activities which pose danger to public health, public safety, public morals or to public policy including, but not limited to, natural resource extraction activities.

SEC. 10. Report Card Survey. - All offices and agencies providing frontline services shall be subjected to a Report Card Survey to be initiated by the Civil Service Commission, in coordination with the Development Academy of the Philippines, which shall be used to obtain feedback on how provisions in the Citizen's Charter are being followed and how the agency is performing.

The Report Card Survey shall also be used to obtain information and/or estimates of hidden costs incurred by clients to access frontline services which may include, but is not limited to, bribes and payment to fixers.

A feedback mechanism shall be established in all agencies covered by this Act and the results thereof shall be incorporated in their annual report.

SEC. 11. Violations. - After compliance with the substantive and procedural due process, the following shall constitute violations of this Act together with their corresponding penalties:

(a) Light Offense - (1) Refusal to accept application and/or request within the prescribed period or any document being submitted by a client;

(2) Failure to act on an application and/or request or failure to refer back to the client a request which cannot be acted upon due to lack of requirement/s within the prescribed period;

(3) Failure to attend to clients who are within the premises of the office or agency concerned prior to the end of official working hours and during lunch

(4) Failure to render frontline services within the prescribed period on any application and/or request without due cause;

(5) Failure to give the client a written notice on the disapproval of an application or request; and

(6) Imposition of additional irrelevant requirements other than those listed in the first notice.

Penalties for light offense shall be as follows:

First Offense - Thirty (30) days suspension without pay and mandatory attendance in Values Orientation Program;

Second Offense - Three (3) months suspension without pay; and

Third Offense - Dismissal and perpetual disqualification from public service.

(b) Grave Offense - Fixing and/or collusion with fixers in consideration of economic and/or other gain or advantage.

Penalty - Dismissal and perpetual disqualification from public service.

SEC. 12. Criminal Liability for Fixers. - In addition to Sec. 11 (b), fixers, as defined in this Act, shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment not exceeding six years or a fine not less than Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20,000.00) but not more than Two Hundred Thousand Pesos (P200,000.00) or both fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court.

SEC. 13. Civil and Criminal Liability, Not Barred. - The finding of administrative liability under this Act shall not be a bar to the filing of criminal, civil or other related charges under existing laws arising from the same act or omission as herein enumerated.

SEC. 14. Administrative Jurisdiction. - The administrative jurisdiction on any violation of the provisions of this Act shall be vested in either the Civil Service Commission (CSC), the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) or the Office of the Ombudsman as determined by appropriate laws and issuances.

SEC. 15. Immunity; Discharge of Co-Respondent/Accused to be a Witness. - Any public official or employee or any person having been charged with another under this Act and who voluntarily gives information pertaining to an investigation or who willingly testifies therefore, shall be exempt from prosecution in the case/s where his/her information and testimony are given. The discharge may be granted and directed by the investigating body or court upon the application or petition of any of the respondent/accused-informant and before the termination of the investigation: Provided, That:

(a) There is absolute necessity for the testimony of the respondent/accused-informant whose discharge is requested;

(b) There is no other direct evidence available for the proper prosecution of the offense committed, except the testimony of said respondent/accused-informant;

(c) The testimony of said respondent/accused-informant can be substantially corroborated in its material points;

(d) The responden/accused-informant has not been previously convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude; and

(e) Said responden/accused-informant does not appear to be the most guilty.

Evidence adduced in support of the discharge shall automatically form part of the records of the investigation. Should the investigating body or court deny the motion or request for discharge as a witness, his/her sworn statement shall be inadmissible as evidence.

SEC. 16. Implementing Rules and Regulations. - The Civil Service Commission in coordination with the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), the Office of the Ombudsman and the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC), shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations within ninety (90) days from the effectivity of this Act.

SEC. 17. Separability Clause. - If any provision of this Act shall be declared invalid or unconstitutional, such declaration shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions of this Act.

SEC. 18. Repealing Clause. - All provisions of laws, presidential decrees, letters of instruction and other presidential issuances which are incompatible or inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby deemed amended or repealed.

SEC. 19. Effectivity. - This Act shall take effect within fifteen (15) days following its publication in the Official Gazette or in two (2) national newspapers of general circulation.



Speaker of the House of Representatives


President of the Senate

This Act which is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 2589 and House Bill No. 3776 was finally passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on February 8, 2007 and February 20, 2007 respectively.


Secretary General

House of Representatives


Secretary of Senate

Approved: JUN 02, 2007


President of the Philippines