‘Follow civil service, anti-red tape rules’

By: Gerome Dalipe and Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE Civil Service Commission (CSC) in Region 6 reminded government officials and workers to strictly follow laws governing their conducts as public servants.

In an interview with dySI RGMA-Iloilo on Sept 4, 2019, CSC-6 regional director Nelson G. Sarmiento said they are keeping a close eye on government offices to check if they follow civil service rules and regulations, particularly Republic Act 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.

RA 11032, which was primarily authored by former Iloilo fourth district congressman Ferjenel Biron at the House of Representatives, amended and strengthened the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007.

Sarmiento issued the warning after no less than CSC Commissioner Aileen Lizada caught some Iloilo Capitol employees abandoning their posts to eat lunch.

The Capitol employees, who are detailed in various offices, were caught on camera not in their respective desks when Lizada and her team conducted a surprise visit in their offices.

One of the computer desktops was reportedly left by the staff still logged in on an online shopping website.

Sarmiento said that aside from violating the “no lunch break policy” and improper use of government resources, their inspections also noticed that some government employees in other local government units and agencies do not wear their office IDs and spend much time on their mobile phones.

While they recognize the importance of mobile phones in relaying orders and tasks among state workers, Sarmiento said gadget use should be justified and regulated to avoid hampering delivery of services to the public.

“The wearing of IDs will also help the public identify the persons that they must approach when they have transactions in government offices,” he added.

Commissioner Lizada discovered the “erring” Iloilo Capitol employees even as the provincial government had revised its Citizen’s Charter in June 2019 to enhance the delivery of government services at the Capitol.

Provincial Administrator Suzette Mamon told reporters that an investigation is ongoing to unmask the Capitol personnel caught abandoning their positions during lunch break.

Mamon reiterated that Capitol offices observe the “No Noon Break” policy pursuant to Republic Act 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.

She said she met with the department heads of the concerned employees to determine the liability of the personnel involved.

The Capitol personnel are reportedly detailed at the Provincial Treasurer’s Office, Provincial Accounting Office, and the Provincial Assessor’s Office.

Mamon vowed to take action on the incident, saying the Capitol does not condone employees caught violating the Anti-Red Tape Law.

RA 11032 covers all government offices and agencies including local government units, government-owned or controlled corporations.

The law aims at establishing effective delivery, prevent graft and corruption, reduce red tape, and expedite business and non-business transactions in government.

Public workers who fail to comply with the provisions of the law will face administrative charges, which carry a penalty of six months suspension for the first offense.

Likewise, those who are found liable of committing the same offense may be dismissed from service, with perpetual disqualification from holding public office and forfeiture of retirement benefits.

The offender could be jailed from one to six years plus fine ranging from P500,000 to P2 million.