The Civil Service Commission (CSC) called on civil servants to take part in promoting Philippine culture by exemplifying public service values.
“Pagmamahal sa Diyos at bayan at malasakit sa kapwa – these are values deeply ingrained in our culture. We can help preserve and cultivate them by practicing them in the way we, civil servants, deliver services to the public,” said CSC Chairperson Alicia dela Rosa-Bala.
The CSC made the statement as the nation celebrates the 54th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Anniversary this August. The celebration carries the theme, “ASEAN Connection: Remembering Southeast Asia’s Culture and Heritage,” which underscores the importance of cultural heritage preservation and its role in protecting local and national identity and pride.
She added that for its part, the CSC continues to promote the core values of Patriotism, Excellence, Integrity, and Spirituality among civil servants through the Public Service Values Program or PSVP.
The CSC’s Civil Service Institute, which runs the PSVP, holds several learning and development courses aimed at further enabling civil servants to manifest these public service values in the delivery of public services, as well as capacitating leaders and human resource (HR) practitioners to craft and implement Values Policy Guidelines for their respective workplaces.
The chairperson said that through PSVP, CSC hopes to someday establish a Filipino brand of public service that will be known in ASEAN and across the globe.
The occasion is pursuant to Proclamation No. 282 dated 31 July 2017 declaring the month of August of every year as ASEAN Month.
In its Memorandum Circular No. 14, s. 2021 dated 27 July, the CSC enjoined government agencies to support and participate in the commemoration of the 54th ASEAN Anniversary and help raise ASEAN awareness among the public.
The Department of Foreign Affairs leads this year’s celebration with virtual activities, which include:
● Virtual special flag raising activity on 9 August;
● Rollout of ASEAN anniversary Facebook frame and Viber/Whatsapp stickers;
● Five-part webinar series dealing with pre-colonial Southeast Asia;
● Online ASEAN quiz;
● Several ASEAN Cultural and Tourism Showcase in coordination with ASEAN Embassies in Manila; and
● Online “Throwback ASEAN” photo competition.
The CSC has continuously strengthened ties with its counterpart civil service agencies in the region through the ASEAN Cooperation on Civil Service Matters (ACCSM).
Its roots can be traced back to 1981 when the ASEAN Conference on Reforms in Civil Service was established and once every two years, civil service agencies gather for information exchange, mentoring, and partnering activities that aim to promote effective cooperation and mutual assistance in public sector capacity building among ASEAN Member States (AMS). But it was in 1989 that the civil service institutions of AMS saw the relevance of formalizing and elevating the network and system of mutual learning and information exchange, and, thus, established the ACCSM for a greater, more systematic, and more enduring cooperation among the civil service agencies.
Through ACCSM, cooperation took life beyond sharing information and experiences in the conference venue toward a more sustainable partnership before and after the conference. The connection among AMS became sustained, cohesive, and more regular.
The ACCSM led efforts toward the signing of a landmark declaration elevating the civil service as a “catalyst” in achieving the ASEAN’s development goals. On the occasion of the 30th ASEAN Summit in April 2017 in Manila, Philippines, leaders of ASEAN’s 10 Member States signed the ASEAN Declaration on the Role of the Civil Service as a Catalyst for Achieving the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.
The declaration recognizes “the significance of the civil service as the backbone of good governance in the region, and its critical mission not only in providing vital public services to the people of ASEAN, but also in driving national and social development.”
The declaration also tasked the ACCSM to take the lead in realizing the goals to “raise the professional standards and capability of civil servants,” “ensure that the civil services of ASEAN embrace good governance principles such as citizen-centricity and innovation”, and “uphold and protect the welfare of civil servants in the region,” among others.
Currently among the initiatives in the ACCSM’s pipeline is Phase 2 of the project ASEAN Guidelines on Public Service Delivery, which aims to provide AMS common guiding principles for improving the quality of public service delivery. The ASEAN Guidelines, developed during Phase 1, was adopted by the Heads of Civil Service on 30 October 2020. Phase 2 of the project is the conduct of Study Visits to China and the Republic of Korea.