TWO weeks ago, I went hopping from one government office to another to file for correction on the data in my driver’s license so I can finally use it as a primary identification card when transacting with private and government offices.
On those sorties I was able to prove two things: First, that fixers continue to exist outside the regional office of Land Transportation Office (LTO) along N. Bacalso Ave.; and, second, that transactions at the mall branch of the same agency can be done hastily without fixers.
I came to discover for myself the continuous presence of fixers outside the LTO regional office after I was met by several individuals offering to fast-track my transaction just outside the South Bus Terminal and they followed me until I reached the gate of LTO 7.
Knowing what the guys were offering, I did not bother to respond until one told me: “Kaning ako, paspas. Naa tay tawo sa sulod. Ari lang nang imong mga papeles.” (Mine is fast because we have men inside. Just give me your papers.)
To avoid them, I hastily stepped inside the gate of the LTO 7, only to be told by the guard that transactions pertaining to licensing were already transferred to a mall in the South Road Properties and what remained there was for vehicle registration only.
On the same week, I also went to other government agencies holding office in malls, like the Philippine Statistics Authority in the downtown area, Philhealth at a mall in the uptown area, Social Security System and National Bureau of Investigation satellite offices at a mall in the North Reclamation Area to get the other requirements.
I finished all my transactions in those offices with reasonable length of time and unmatched ease by courteous and attentive clerks as if I was attended to by customer service representatives from private companies.
Now, I wonder why these government agencies are so efficient and their staff are very accommodating when they are holding office at the mall.
It must have something to do with the mall working environment when government workers are surrounded by their counterparts from the private entities who follow to the letter the mantra of good customer service.
As to the absence of fixers, I think they don’t thrive in an efficient environment since their services are no longer needed to get transactions done, so hopefully other government offices will follow.
And for the fixers still plying their illegal trade outside the LTO 7 office, are they not afraid of the one at the helm of the agency who is sternly projecting himself as a man of order and no-nonsense?
LTO 7 Regional Director Victor Caindec has introduced various innovations and implemented existing transportation laws that were never imposed before, but I would still be happy to finally see the eradication of fixers outside his office.
If branding and projection is the new name of the game, then the removal of the fixers would surely reap for Mr. Caindec and the office he represents positive comments, likes and shares in social media.