Guv vows to act against ‘erring’ Capitol workers

By: Gerome Dalipe

ILOILO Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. yesterday vowed to take action on the abandoning of posts by some Capitol employees during lunchtime.

In his press conference, Defensor said that Capitol employees are mandated to abide by the basic office guidelines and policies.

“We will take steps towards that. We will take measures not just because of that incident, but for the entire public offices as well,” the governor told reporters.

Provincial Administrator Suzette Mamon earlier told reporters about their ongoing investigation to determine the liability of several Capitol personnel who were caught on video abandoning their positions during lunch break.

This, after no less than Civil Service Commission Commissioner Aileen Lizada caught some Capitol employees leaving their posts to take lunch.

The Capitol employees, who are detailed in various offices, were caught on camera not in their respective desks when Lizada and her team conducted a surprise visit in their offices.

One of the computer desktops was reportedly left by the staff still logged in on an online shopping website.

Mamon stressed that Capitol offices observe the “No Noon Break” policy pursuant to Republic Act 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.

Mamon said she had a meeting with the department heads of the concerned employees to determine the culpability of the personnel involved.

Governor Defensor, in yesterday’s press conference, admitted seeing the video of the supposed Capitol employees abandoning their posts during lunch break.

But the governor said he wanted to know the facts of the issue before he would make any actions.

“This will serve as a reminder to all employees that we should do our job well,” said Defensor.

His father and former governor, Arthur Sr., issued an executive order pursuant to Republic Act 11032 or “An Act Promoting Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Delivery of Government Services,” which amended Republic Act 9485, or the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007.

Act 11032 covers all government offices and agencies including local government units, government-owned or controlled corporations.

The law aims at establishing effective delivery, prevent graft and corruption, reduce red tape, and expedite business and non-business transactions in government.

Public workers who fail to comply with the provisions of the law will face administrative charges, which carry a penalty of six months suspension for the first offense.

Likewise, those who are found liable of committing the same offense may be dismissed from service, with perpetual disqualification from holding public office and forfeiture of retirement benefits.

The offender could be jailed from one to six years plus fine ranging from P500,000 up to P2-million.