Guevarra urges CSC to lay down rules on gift-giving for civil servants

Published August 19, 2019, 5:39 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Jeffrey Damicog

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Monday (August 19) has urged the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to come up with specific rules to determine when it is wrong to give cash gifts to civil servants or not.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra (TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO /MANILA BULLETIN)
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra (TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO /MANILA BULLETIN)

“CSC ang dapat maglagay ng ganyang klaseng guidelines (CSC should put in place such guidelines),” said Guevarra.

The Secretary lamented that, at the moment, there is no guideline that will establish when gift-giving could be considered a bribe.

“Unless, of course, the civil service commission would give an exact or precise definition,” he pointed out.

“But right now wala nga ganun klase rule kaya flexible so very relative ang concept (There is no rules right now so the concept of gift-giving is very relative),” he added.

Recently, President Rodrigo Duterte said that he did not consider gifts given to policemen as bribes, and urged policemen to just accept them.

In support, Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Commissioner Greco Belgica believes that cash or gifts worth P100,000 should still represent an insignificant amount.

However, Guevarra said it will still depend on what context the gifts were given before it should be considered a bribe.

“There is only one important thing, the gift is not meant to influence official action,” he stressed.

The Secretary reminded that gift-giving has been part of Filipino culture.

“Kasi Filipino culture din tayo (We have our Filipino culture). So we have to respect our traditions, our customs,” he said.

“Kung tuwing may occasion nagbibigay tayo regalo sa ating kaibigan na nagkataon opisyal (There are occasions we give gifts to friends who happen to be officials). So for many situations wala naman ibig sabhin yun (It does not mean anything). It is just a sign of friendship, a sign of gratitude except kung talaga purpose is to influence the official,” he cited.

 
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