Gov’t fighting sexual harassment in its agencies–Duque
MANILA, Philippines–Civil Service Commission (CSC) Chairman Francisco Duque III stressed on Monday the importance of the role of the Committee on Decorum and Investigation (Codi) in all government agencies in protecting victims of sexual harassment and deterring would-be offenders.
In a statement, Duque said sexual harassment and other forms of violence were detrimental to the morale and productivity of victims even as they adversely affected the delivery of services.
“We must assure government workers who are or may have been victims of sexual harassment that they can turn to the law for recourse,” Duque said.
The establishment of Codis in all work, educational and training institutions is provided for under Republic Ac No. 7877, or the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995. The Codi is tasked to prevent and investigate sexual harassment cases.
Antiviolence on children, women
The CSC issued the statement in observance of the 18-day Campaign to End Violence against Women and Children from Nov. 25 to Dec. 12.
CSC data showed that from 1994 to 2014, 159 sexual harassment cases were filed in the CSC.
Of this figure, 69 percent, or 110 cases, have been resolved, with 73 cases, or 66 percent of the figure, decided in favor of the complainant.
Duque said 55 cases resulted in the guilty party’s dismissal, while 16 cases led to the suspension of the guilty party.
He reminded government employees that those found guilty of the offense may face dismissal from the government service, which includes cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification from holding public office.
In 2001, the CSC issued a resolution on administrative disciplinary rules on sexual harassment which directed all government offices to create a Codi, composed of management and employee representatives.
The resolution defined sexual harassment as “an act, or a series of acts, involving any unwelcome sexual advance, request or demand for a sexual favor, or other verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature, committed by a government employee or official in a work-related, training or education-related environment of the person complained of.”
It may come in the form of malicious touching, overt sexual advances and gestures with lewd insinuations; requests or demands for sexual favors and lurid remarks; and use of objects, pictures or graphics, letters or writing notes with sexual underpinnings.
Duque said the CSC remained committed to its responsibility of molding a gender-responsive government.
“As we change the landscape of Philippine human resources by moving from the transactional to the strategic, we also continue to make the workplace gender-sensitive and gender-responsive. Let’s end violence against women not only in the workplace but everywhere. We must turn our words into action,” he said.
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