CSC warns gov’t workers: No Christmas parties during office hours
It is indeed the season to be jolly, but the Civil Service Commission (CSC) has a gentle reminder to government agencies: Don’t do Christmas parties during office hours.
“Christmas is the season of sharing and giving and I know that the best gift government workers can give to the transacting public is the provision of responsive, compassionate, and effective public service, not only for the holidays but throughout the year,” CSC Chairperson Alicia dela Rosa-Bala said in a statement on Monday.
The CSC encouraged heads of government agencies “which render frontline services” to observe “appropriate working schedules to ensure that all clients who are within their premises prior to the end of official working hours are attended to.”
Moreover, the CSC reiterated its reminder against accepting gifts and soliciting for items to be raffled off during Christmas parties or celebrations.
Citing Republic Act No. 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, the CSC said civil servants are prohibited from soliciting or accepting gifts, favors, loans or anything of monetary value in the course of their official duties.
“Serving the public is our duty and we must give the best possible service and the extra mile without expecting anything in return,” Dela Rosa-Bala noted.
The CSC then warned government workers against receiving gifts for personal use.
Under the 2017 Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service (RACCS), receiving “a fee, gift or other valuable thing in the course of official duties” for personal use is prohibited provided that the “fee, gift or other valuable thing is given by any person in the hope or expectation of receiving a favor or better treatment than that accorded to other persons, or committing acts punishable under the anti-graft laws,” the CSC said.
Violation of this provision is a grave offense and is punishable by dismissal from the service, the CSC added.
Further, the CSC cited another provision from the 2017 RACCS that prohibits “soliciting or accepting directly or indirectly, any gift, gratuity, favor, entertainment, loan or anything of monetary value in the course of one’s official duties or in connection with any operation being regulated by, or any transaction which may be affected by the functions of one’s office.”
“For instance, those from permit/license issuing offices must refrain from requesting companies for raffle prizes or soliciting monetary contributions as the act may be construed as a bribe or reward in exchange for better treatment,” the CSC said. /kga
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