Draft policy for gov’t employees’ social media use released

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has released the draft of the administrative order detailing the guidelines for social media use of government agencies and employees.

The DICT said it released the draft policy to enable stakeholders to provide inputs and submit their position paper on its content and provisions.

“Social media has become an integral part of the public and personal lives of civil servants, but alongside the unique opportunities of this networking platform are the challenges that come with unguided or irresponsible social media usage,” the agency said.

“Hence, organizations must develop and establish guidelines, rules and regulations on the safe and productive use of social media, particularly for government offices to standardize, establish and define acceptable norms, reporting and feedback mechanism,” it added.

The DICT also held last week an invitation-only consultation among government employees and members of the technical working group that developed the policy.

The draft policy provides a framework and technical guidelines for government agencies in managing their social media accounts and establishes a basic rule for responsible and safe use of social media by civil service officers.

It also promotes the use of social media to “foster good governance, transparency and accountability, citizen participation, productivity and organizational performance and improvement of public service delivery.”

Based on the draft order, a social media team will be created to handle the social media accounts of government agencies. They will be tasked, among others, to come up with a participation policy that governs the expected behavior of users of the online discussion or community.

The policy also outlines prohibited content, including blackmail, pornography, malicious content, copyrighted material, unrelated jokes or information, suspicious links and opinion.

Meanwhile, civil servants are encouraged to use social media but are reminded to follow existing laws and other guidelines.

“Civil servants are encouraged to participate in social media in order to improve efficiency and productivity. They shall not be prohibited from using social media in their personal capacity because it is the best way for them to learn how to use social media in their official capacity,” it read.

“However, as in all aspects of work, civil servants are duty-bound to use social media responsibly,” the draft policy added.

It specifically warned employees against excessive use of social media which interferes with the performance of their official duties.

The DICT said inputs, position papers, suggestions and comments on the draft administrative order may be sent to [email protected] until Oct. 22.

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