On the eve of the nation’s 123rd Independence Day celebration, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) reminded Friday, June 11, government agencies to look after the welfare, health, and safety of their essential staff or frontliners, citing that the country’s “heroes” include state employees.
CSC Chairperson Alicia dela Rosa-Bala hailed the services and sacrifices made by government frontliners whom she said, consistently perform their duties amid the risks posed by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“These are people who know the risks of reporting to work, but do so nonetheless because they know the importance of ensuring public service continuity especially in this time of national crisis,” she said in a statement on Friday, June 11.
She described Independence Day as a day of celebration and recollection of the service and sacrifices of the country’s heroes, which include government workers.
“We also remember our fallen civil servants, especially the doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel, who succumbed to COVID-19 and whose lives will be forever remembered as a testament of genuine and selfless public service,” Bala said.
The CSC called on government agencies to strictly install and implement adequate occupational health and safety standards to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their employees.
Bala said “clear” health and safety protocols must be strictly and consistently implemented. “When employees feel safe and secure at the workplace, they can focus more on performance and are able to support others who need help coping,” she said.
The CSC reminded the heads of the agencies to adopt precautionary measures and provide support mechanisms for employees who are required to report physically at work.
CSC Memorandum Circular No. 18, series of 2020 mandates the agencies to conduct disinfection and decontamination activities, perform health status check among employees, and modify workplace layout to ensure observance of physical distancing requirements.
The MC also directs the agencies to implement minimum health standards at all times such as wearing of face masks, face shields, and other appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), taking of body temperature, and setting up of sanitation stations.
The CSC said the government workers should be given access to support mechanisms such as health/psychosocial interventions, appropriate PPEs, and reasonable transportation facilities and housing quarters, subject to budgeting, accounting, and auditing rules and regulations.
Bala took the opportunity to ask human resource management officers (HRMO) in government offices “to provide the necessary support to ensure public service continuity and keep employees engaged.”