The Civil Service Commission (CSC) reiterates the provisions of Republic Act No. 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees which prohibits civil servants from soliciting or accepting gifts, favors, loans or anything of monetary value in the course of their official duties. Thus, government workers are reminded not to accept gifts nor solicit for items to be raffled during Christmas party or holiday celebration.
“Serving the public is our duty and we must give the best possible service and the extra mile without expecting anything in return,” said CSC Chairperson Alicia dela Rosa-Bala.
Section 50 (8), Rule 10 of the 2017 Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service (RACCS) provides that, “Receiving for personal use of a fee, gift or other valuable thing in the course of official duties or in connection therewith when such 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.” Violation of this provision is a grave offense and is punishable by dismissal from the service.
The 2017 RACCS also specifically 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 clarified that the propriety or impropriety of the gift shall be determined by value, kinship, or relationship between the giver and receiver, and the motivation. Thus, 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. Something of monetary value is one which is evidently or manifestly excessive by its very nature.
Government agencies are urged to provide uninterrupted service
The CSC also reminds government agencies nationwide, especially those in the frontline, to provide uninterrupted service amid the conduct of Christmas get-togethers and other similar year-end activities.
“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,” said CSC Chairperson Bala.
Heads of agencies which render frontline services are encouraged to 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.