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As the nation celebrates National Women’s Month this March, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) honors women in government service who have made significant contributions to the country.

“Women in government are major players in different aspects of national development—in leadership and legislation, science and technology, medicine, social services, even in the enrichment of Filipino culture and the arts,” CSC Chairperson Alicia dela Rosa-Bala said, adding, “They deserve honor and recognition not only for their achievements, but also for opening the door for other women and girls to come forward and fulfill their potentials.”

For many years, the government has given rewards and recognition to outstanding female public servants through the Honor Awards Program (HAP) administered by the CSC. Under the said program, the CSC runs the annual Search for Outstanding Government Workers.

The CSC recalls these outstanding women who have been given recognition under the HAP:

2019 CSC Pagasa awardee
Dr. Marie Charyll H. Jamolo
Jail Senior Inspector
Bureau of Jail Management and Penology Regional Office VI
Iloilo City
Dr. Jamolo implemented a holistic lifestyle and wellness program in all 35 jails in Region VI, which included access to medical consultations, psychological and emotional sessions for inmates involved in drug-related cases and those with special emotional needs, Directly Observed Treatment Short Course (DOTS) for tuberculosis, and various healthcare information. She turned the 35 jails into 100% smoke-free zones, leading to BJMP RO VI’s conferment of the Red Orchid Award twice by the Department of Health.

2018 CSC Pagasa awardee
Tribal and Muslim Affairs Team
City Tribal and Muslim Affairs Office
City Government of Tagum, Davao del Norte
(Team Leader: Xylee Labastida-Palomata; Adelaida P. Andipa; Marife C. Pagdilao)
The all-female team was cited for capacitating traditional leaders that enabled them to actively participate in city and barangay legislation, and to gain representation in various committees and councils. Through its efforts, 12 livelihood grants worth PHP5.88 million were allocated to the indigenous and Muslim cultural communities, which included funding for the establishment of a Tribal Display Center showcasing locally-made products. It also expanded the local government’s cultural literacy programs that revitalized indigenous practices.

2017 Dangal ng Bayan awardee
Maria Corazon A. De Ungria
University Researcher V (Scientist II)
University of the Philippines Diliman
She heads the DNA Analysis Laboratory of the Natural Sciences Research Institute in UP Diliman. She developed and used DNA technology in criminal investigations. The Research Group of the Philippine Judicial Academy partnered with Dr. De Ungria in developing the guidelines on the use of forensic DNA technology in the Philippine criminal justice system, resulting in the promulgation of guidelines being used in all Philippine courts.

2016 Dangal ng Bayan awardee
Sonia E. Ipang
Social Welfare Officer III
Department of Social Welfare and Development
Cagayan de Oro City
Mommy Sonia, as she is fondly called, heads the Regional Rehabilitation Center for the Youth in Gingoog City. She makes sure that the center treats residents with care and dignity. She established a parenting environment where residents, many of whom were neglected children, learn to express their thoughts and emotions. Residents are also taught to engage in livelihood opportunities. One of the minors she helped was Rustie Quintana, a boy separated from his family and forced to live on his own means. Through the help of the center and compassionate individuals, Rustie eventually earned a college degree and began to help street kids find a better life.

2012 Presidential Lingkod Bayan awardee
Representative Vilma Santos-Recto
Former Governor of the Province of Batangas, now Representative of the 6th District of Batangas
She was cited for daring to fight the toughest battles of the Province of Batangas as she addressed the persistent overcrowding in Taal Lake to improve water quality and prevent fish kills. She ordered the dismantling of hundreds of illegal fish pens and other structures on and within the vicinity of the lake. The move almost cost her her re-election in 2010 as moneyed interests campaigned against her.

Inclusive

Chairperson Bala said that women’s empowerment and gender equality are essential ingredients on the road to development. “When we have more inclusive policies and programs that enable women’s rights and participation, we are able to unlock the capabilities of half of the population for the benefit of society at large.”

She said that, as the premier HR institution of the Philippine government, the CSC continues to pursue HR reforms that support female government workers throughout their career.

On 1 May 2019, the CSC, together with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Social Security System (SSS), issued the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 11210 or the Expanded Maternity Leave Law. The IRR defines the rules for availing of the expanded maternity leave.

Under R.A. 11210, which took effect on 11 March 2019, women who underwent live childbirth are entitled to 105 days maternity leave with full pay, with an option to extend for 30 days without pay. On top of 105 days, solo parents are entitled to 15 more days of maternity leave.

Meanwhile, women who suffered miscarriage or emergency termination of pregnancy, or delivered stillbirth, can avail of 60 days maternity leave with full pay.

Female employees in the government service can avail of maternity leave under R.A. No. 11210 regardless of their employment/appointment status, whether permanent, temporary, casual, contractual, provisional, substitute, coterminous, or fixed term.

The law also does not distinguish civil status, length of service, employment status, and legitimacy of the child in granting the benefit.

Meanwhile, the 105-day maternity leave may also be allocated to the child’s father or an alternate caregiver who may be a relative within the fourth degree of consanguinity or current partner sharing the same household. The allocation will be on top of the 7-day paternity leave that male government employees may avail of as well.

Special leave

Even before R.A. No. 11210, the CSC has already issued leave benefits that recognize the unique needs of women. This includes the special leave benefits for women under Republic Act No. 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women (MCW). In CSC Resolution No. 1000432 issued 22 November 2010, the CSC set guidelines on the availment of special leave benefit for qualified female public sector employees who have undergone surgery caused by gynecological disorders, pursuant to the provisions and implementing rules and regulations of the MCW.

Per the resolution, any female public sector employee, regardless of age and civil status are entitled to a special leave of a maximum of two months with full pay based on her gross monthly compensation, provided she has rendered at least six (6) months aggregate service in any or various government agencies for the last twelve (12) months prior to undergoing surgery for gynecological disorders.

Generally, availment of the said special leave benefit should be in accordance with the List of Surgical Operations for Gynecological Disorders, which reflects, among others, the estimated periods of recuperation from surgery due to the specific gynecological disorder.

The leave may be filed in advance or at least five (5) days prior to the gynecological surgery. In case of emergency surgical procedures, the leave may be filed immediately upon return to work. The leave application should be accompanied by a medical certificate and clinical summary.

Women’s Month

The CSC joins the Philippine government in celebrating the 2021 National Women’s Month from 1-31 March with the theme “Juana Laban sa Pandemya: Kaya!” which highlights women’s participation in battling the pandemic as well as discusses gender issues exacerbated by the pandemic.