CSC reminds gov’t workers on partisan political activities
By Marlon Loterte
The Civil Service Commission (CSC) Bicol regional office, as the campaign period for the national elections started on Feb. 8, has reminded government workers to avoid involvement in partisan political activities to avoid penalties that include suspension or dismissal from service.
Lawyer Daisy P. Bragais, CSC Bicol regional director, during the Ugnayan sa Bicol radio program, said that civil servants can share their thoughts about a certain political candidate, but they must not campaign for or against a candidate or party.
Bragais, however, said that those officials holding political offices can participate in political and electoral activities, but they are prohibited from soliciting support or contribution from their subordinates.
She added that both elective officials and government employees are not allowed to ask for support, which refers to resources such as money, donation in form of campaign paraphernalia, or other contributions, as provided in Joint Circular No. 1, Series of 2016 of CSC and the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Similarly, government employees can repost, like, or share a social media post about a particular candidate or follow their accounts, as long as the content of the posts or accounts does not solicit support for or against a candidate or party.
In terms of engaging in media activities such as vlogging, government employees could only be allowed to do it if they secure first permission from their agency, do the vlogging outside of office hours, and only ask questions to the candidates, not campaign for them.
Becoming publicly identified in favor of a candidate is included in the offenses. So, avoid this, Bragais said.
Meanwhile, government media offices are authorized to invite candidates in their programs to tackle issues and their platforms, noting that it is the former’s role to let the public be aware of the candidate’s platforms.
Sending private messages that encourage someone to vote for a particular candidate is also considered as a form of campaigning for or against a candidate.
Government employees are also forbidden to: attend rallies unless they are there to listen to the candidates’ platforms; and form organizations, associations, or groups in social media that aim to “solicit vote and undertake a campaign,” Bragais stressed.
Further, government offices are not allowed to use job order and contract of service employees to partake in partisan political activities, Bragais said. (Diane E. Pitallano-BU Intern/PIA5)