Unscrupulous government officers and employees deliberately hiding employment vacancies in their offices may soon be penalized under a bill recently filed in Congress.
Rep. Peter Unabia (1st District, Misamis Oriental) said his House Bill 1966 or the proposed “Compulsory Submission and Notification of Vacant Positions in the Government Sector” aims to promote transparency and openness in all government transactions and dealings which will strengthen the country’s democracy and promote efficiency in the public sector.
Unabia said his proposal will put an end to the perennial practice of some dishonest public officers or employees in deliberately hiding or making unknown to the general public employment vacancies and opportunities in the public sector for purposes of favoring and prioritizing their relatives and close friends.
”In fact, some departments and agencies in the government are dubbed as Department of Family Affairs,” said Unabia.
In line with the principle that a “Public Office is a Public trust,” he said his proposal hopes to repress these certain acts of public officers which constitute graft and corrupt practices or which may lead thereto.
Unabia said transparency and openness in the government service has always been the pillar of a democratic state.
“People look to government institutions to work on their behalf and provide oversight on matters that significantly impact on their quality of life. Government fulfills this role most effectively when its activities are open and transparent to citizens,” said Unabia.
He said HB 1966 is in line with Section 26, Article II of the Constitution which mandates that the State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law, and Section 27, Article II that the State shall maintain honesty and integrity in the public service and take positive and effective measures against graft and corruption.
Likewise, the bill now pending at the House Committee on Civil Service and Professional Regulation, is in line with the State policy that the government shall actively encourage, promote, induce and accelerate openness and transparency in the public service to ensure public trust and accountability, and promote full employment and equality of employment opportunities.
The measure provides that the personnel officer (PO) or human resource development officer (HRDO) in every government sector shall, immediately upon knowledge of the vacancy and before filling up any vacancy in any employment in the government sector, cause the publication of this by notifying the Public Employment Service Officer (PESO) regarding such vacancy.
Any PO or HRDO who fails to submit the notice of vacant positions within the period prescribed by the PESO shall be fined P20,000 for the first offense, P50,000 for the second offense, and P75,000 to P100,000 at the discretion of the court.
The PESO in coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations, the bill provides. PNA