“No officer or employee in the civil service, as well as any member of the military, shall engage, directly or indirectly, in any electioneering or partisan political activity, except to vote.” This warning was issued by Civil Service Commission (CSC) Chairperson Alicia dela Rosa-Bala in line with preparations for the May 14 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections. “Civil servants are mandated by law to uphold political neutrality in the conduct of their duties even more during election season,” added the CSC chairperson.
An advisory on Electioneering and Partisan Political Activity issued through CSC Resolution No. 1600298 dated March 29, 2016 reiterates that the prohibition aims to ensure that government workers will remain focused on the affairs of the government, do away with the spoils system, and shield public service from political influences.
CSC Memorandum Circular (M.C.) No. 30, s. 2009 enumerated the following as partisan political activities, acts designed to promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate/s to a public office:
- Forming organizations, associations, clubs, committees, or other groups of persons for the purpose of soliciting votes and/or undertaking any campaign for or against a candidate;
- Holding political caucuses, conferences, meetings, rallies, parades or other similar assemblies, for the purpose of soliciting votes and/or undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or against a candidate;
- Making speeches, announcements or commentaries, or holding interviews for or against the election of any candidate for public office;
- Publishing or distributing campaign literature or materials designed to support or oppose the election of any candidate;
- Directly or indirectly soliciting votes, pledges, or support for or against a candidate;
Being a delegate to any political convention, or a member of any political committee or directorate. Or an officer of any political club or other similar political organizations;
- Receiving any contributions for political purposes, either directly or indirectly; and
- Becoming publicly identified with the success or failure of any candidate/s or party/ies.
CSC Memorandum Circular No. 9, series of 1992 also identifies the following as prohibited acts:
- Wearing of t-shirts, pins, caps, or any other similar election paraphernalia bearing the names of candidates and/or political parties;
- Being a watcher for a political party or candidate during the election;
- Consistent presence in political rallies, caucuses of, and continuous companionship with certain political candidates and/or political party, making one closely identified with such candidates or party;
- Giving, soliciting, or receiving financial or monetary contributions, supplies, equipment, and materials for the benefit of a candidate and/or political party; and
- Utilizing government resources such as personnel, including job order or contract of service hirees, time, and properties for political purposes.
Those who will be found guilty of engaging directly or indirectly in partisan political activities will be meted with the penalty of one (1) month and one (1) day suspension to six (6) months for the first offense; and dismissal from the service for the second offense according to the 2017 Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service or 2017 RACCS (CSC Resolution No. 1701077 dated July 3, 2017) which superseded the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service.