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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

CSC reminds govt execs vs accepting Christmas gifts

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GOVERNMENT officials and workers could face sanctions if they accept any gifts amid the Christmas holidays, according to the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

In a statement on Sunday, CSC Chairperson Karlo B. Nograles urged executives and public servants to just politely refuse taking the tokens to avoid such risk.

“If there is a client or applicant, supplier or contractor, or any other individual, group, or company that you transacted business or regularly transact business with, who is extending a gift or token to you, just politely decline and explain that you are only doing your job,” he said.

He noted that under Republic Act No. 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, they are prohibited from soliciting or accepting, “directly or indirectly, any gift, gratuity, favor, entertainment, loan or anything of monetary value from any person in the course of their official duties.”

Similar restrictions were also imposed by Republic Act No. 3109, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

The CSC head reiterated the restriction will also apply to soliciting sponsorships or advertisements, such as raffle prizes for Christmas or year-end parties.

The only few exemptions to the rule are gifts, coming from family members, given without expectation of pecuniary benefit; those coming from persons with no regular, pending, or expected transactions with the government office where the receiver belongs; those from private organizations given with humanitarian and altruistic intent; and those donated by one government entity to another.

However, a government office has the discretion to impose a “no gift policy” for its officers and personnel.

Erring government officials and workers can face fines, suspensions, imprisonment and perpetual disqualification from public service depending on the gravity of their violations.

In a related development, Nograles also reminded government offices to ensure their year-end celebration will not hamper their operations and the delivery of their services.

“Such [events] are not prohibited, but let us ensure our service will continue in our office and will not be disrupted during official working hours,” the CSC official said in Filipino.

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