No lunch break please, policemen remindedBy DJ Yap
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Police personnel have been reminded of the government’s policy of staggering individual workers’ lunch hours to ensure the provision of continuous services to citizens even between 12 noon and 1 p.m., the Philippine National Police said Wednesday.
Director General Nicanor A. Bartolome issued a directive informing all PNP members to take cognizance of their obligation to “strictly and religiously observe the appropriate working schedule pursuant to Republic Act 9485, or the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007.”
In a statement, Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr., director of the PNP’s Community Relations Group, cited complaints by certain residents about the non-observance of the policy in certain police offices, including the Police Retirement and Benefits Administration Service (PRBS).
According to one complaint by Borina Agarao of Sto. Tomas town in Batangas, the PRBS went on simultaneous lunch break between 12 and 1 p.m. on at least three days even though there were clients waiting to be served, Cruz said.
“Similar cases were also noted in some Crame-based PNP units, police regional offices down to police stations, which render frontline services like permits and police clearances,” he added.
Under RA 9485, all heads of offices and agencies that render frontline services shall ensure that clients within the premises will be attended to “even during lunch break and after regular working hours.”
That law penalizes first and second offenders with suspension without pay, and third offenders with dismissal and perpetual disqualification from public office.