Ideal idea

February 15, 2019

It is a common, universal aspiration of all citizens.

A professional corps of civil servants or state employees who are non-partisan and loyal only to their vow of public service and patriotism.

Their commitment to professionalism and dedication to public service are, however, tested every election year when political alignments emerge even among the bureaucracy.

These alignments sometimes lead to squabbles and even polarization of the ranks in extreme cases.

And so it was wise for two key government agencies to issue a reminder for them to steer clear of any form of partisan activities during this election season.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) on Thursday reminded government officials and employees to refrain from participating in partisan political activities.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez and PACC chairman Dante Jimenez made the reminder two days after the start of the campaign period for candidates running for national positions in the May 13 polls.

“What is prohibited particularly to those under the Civil Service Commission (CSC) or members of the government including the other branches of the government, is what we call partisan political activity,” the poll body official said in a joint press conference in Manila.

Jimenez, however, noted that government employees are allowed to express their personal opinion.

“They are allowed to say who they will vote but they cannot order their people who are under his department or subordinates to support the candidate chosen by their leader, that is what we are trying to prevent partisan political activity. That is prohibited,” he added.

With this, Jimenez urged the public to report such actions by government employees.

“Document them (partisan actions of government employees). It is important to report such and then we will (forward) it to PACC. Let us work together to make sure proper actions filed,” the poll body official added.

For his part, the PACC head warned all government agencies under the direct supervision and control of the President not to use their resources, such as budget, manpower, equipment, or vehicles in anticipation of the May 13, 2019 elections.

He also appealed to all sectors to report to the Commission and all government agencies all violations of its officials and personnel who would be directly using government agencies to support the candidacy of particular candidates or political parties, including party-lists.