Provide continuous service, government agencies told PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 16 December 2012 15:30

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) urged government agencies to provide continuous, high-quality service amid the conduct of Christmas office parties and other year-end activities.

“Christmas is the season of gift-giving, and the best gift we can give to the Filipino public is the promise of excellent and honest public service, not only this holiday season but onwards,” said CSC Chairman Francisco T. Duque III in a statement.

The CSC chief said that government offices may implement appropriate strategies, such as shifting schedules, to ensure that the public is consistently served within the prescribed government working hours.

“Even if Christmas parties are scheduled during lunch break, the law says that there should be no interruption in service,” added Duque.

Republic Act No. 9485, also known as the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA) of 2007, provides that “heads of offices and agencies which render frontline services shall adopt appropriate working schedules to ensure that all clients who are within their premises prior to the end of official working hours are attended to and served even during lunch break and after regular working hours.”

The CSC chief also reminded civil servants not to accept gifts in exchange for performing their duties, especially from clients, suppliers and contractors with whom they are facilitating business.

“Gifts may be construed as a bribe or reward in exchange for a favor or better treatment. Serving the public is our duty and we must give the best possible service without expecting anything in return,” Duque said.

He cited Republic Act No. 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, that prohibits civil servants from soliciting or accepting gifts, favors, loans or anything of monetary value in the course of their official duties.

The said violation is classified as a grave offense punishable by dismissal from the service on the first offense.

Under the law, a gift is deemed proper or improper depending on the value of the gift, the relationship between the giver and the receiver, and the intent. Something of monetary value is “one which is evidently or manifestly excessive by its very nature”.

Gifts exempted from the prohibition are those from family members given without expectation of pecuniary benefit; those coming from persons with no regular, pending or expected transactions with the government office where the receiver belongs; those from private organizations given with humanitarian and altruistic intent; and those donated by one government entity to another.