Incoming officials told to observe civil service laws

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News - (Ferliza Contratista and Fayette Riñen)

CEBU CITY — Government leaders and civil servants are reminded on civil service mandates in this transition phase.

Civil Service Commission (CSC) Chairperson Alicia Bala stressed the existing programs that leaders and civil servants must take note of during this time of transition.

These include appointments only according to merit and fitness, nepotism, unjust termination or ensuring security of tenure, the Code of Conduct and Ethical for Public Officials and Employees as the “bible” of governance, and the enforcement of the AntiRed Tape Act (ARTA).

“As we navigate this critical point of transition, I urge all government officials and employees to never forget our sworn duties as keepers of public trust, and to serve the public with utmost professionalism, effectiveness, and integrity,” Bala said.

She said in spite of differences in political affiliations and opinions, as public servants, their loyalty must lie with the country and the people.

Bala was recently in Cebu City for the 2016 Public Sector Human Resource Symposium attended by more than 2,000 human resource practitioners from all over the country.

“As the country finds itself in the transition from the previous administration to the new one, the CSC anticipates that a lot of changes arising from new leadership, paradigms, and ways of working may lead to uncertainties and challenges within the bureaucracy,” she said.

Bala also said that human resource (HR) practitioners play a major role along with other civil servants to ensure a healthy balance between continuity and change amid the transition of a new leadership starting July 1.

She said there will be a lot of challenges in a new bureaucracy, but stressed that governance and service delivery must not be compromised during transitions.

She said: “The critical point of transition is (for public officials) never to forget their sworn duties and the public’s trust and to serve the latter with utmost professionalism and integrity. We need to unite and work together for the good welfare of the citizenry.”

Bala said the CSC policy remains the same and that all appointments should merit fitness and competence.

Minimum qualification standards must be met relative to education, training and experience, she said.

She reminded public officials that nepotism is a grave offense and that in national government agencies, relatives up to the 3rd degree of consanguinity is prohibited to enter the same agency while the prohibition applies up to the 4th degree of affinity to local government units.

The position of administrator, however, is not covered under nepotism as this should have the confidence and trust of the local chief executive, according to Bala. “However, there is still a need to comply with qualification standards,” she said.

Asked regarding the common practice of nepotism by local chief executives, Bala said a complaint that should be filed with the Ombudsman’s Office as the agency has the jurisdiction over the elected public officials.

She said no government official or employee should be suspended or removed except by cause provided under the 1987 Constitution.

Any employee who feels unjustly treated can seek legal remedy from their office, Bala said.

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