DOJ suspends work during lockdown in Metro Manila, to maintain skeletal workforce

Published March 14, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Jeffrey Damicog

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has decided to suspend work within the National Capital Region (NCR) while the lockdown is in effect.

Department of Justice (MANILA BULLETIN)
Department of Justice (MANILA BULLETIN)

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra made the order in Department Circular No. 008 dated March 13.

In his circular, the Secretary informed officials and personnel of the DOJ main office in Manila, and the city prosecution offices within the NCR that “reporting for work in the Department of Justice is hereby suspended…”

“This Circular takes effect immediately and shall remain in force until 12 April 2020, unless revoked or modified,” read the circular.

Guevarra explained that the move was made pursuant to Resolution No. 11 of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and the directive of President Duterte which included placing the NCR under lockdown from March 15 to April 12.

Guevarra nevertheless said that a skeletal workforce will still be maintained at the DOJ and “shall report for work on weekly rotation basis from Monday to Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.”

The DOJ’s units and programs which “shall maintain and require to report for work such minimum number of personnel, as may be deemed proper by their respective heads” include the Office of the Secretary, Frontline Service, Technical Service, DOJ Action Center, Legal Staff, National Prosecution Service (NPS) and NPS Docket, Administrative Service, Records Management Section, Cashier, Financial Service, Office of the Secretary Appeals Management Office (SAMO), and Board of Claims.

Other offices were directed to have at least one personnel, who shall be responsible for receiving papers and apprising the head of the office on any urgent matter.

“As far as practicable, the DOJ personnel residing outside the NCR shall not be included in the skeletal workforce, but shall be given assignment that can be done at or from home,” the circular read.

Guevarra also required all DOJ personnel “to stand by and be on-call, whenever they may be, as they may be asked by the Secretary of Justice to perform their functions should the exigencies of the service so require.”

The Secretary also urged the DOJ’s attached agencies “to adopt these rules for their own operations, or adopt and implement their own rules as may be appropriate for the continuous delivery of service and efficient discharge of official functions.”