Within two weeks, a draft implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees is expected to be released.
Interaksyon/File
What gifts are acceptable? CSC begins crafting rules
Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - August 21, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Civil Service Commission (CSC) has created a team tasked to clearly and specifically define the meaning of “nominal” or “insignificant gifts” that government officials and employees are allowed to receive.

Within two weeks, a draft implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees is expected to be released.

In an interview with The STAR, CSC Assistant Commissioner Ariel Ronquillo said CSC Chairperson Alicia dela Rosa-Bala issued a directive yesterday morning tasking him to form a team to study the issue and come up with guidelines.

“The prohibition against receiving of gifts was mentioned in RA 6713, the Code of Conduct, and the agency that was tasked to issue implementing rules and regulations is really the CSC,” Ronquillo said.

“Unfortunately, sa law, hindi maliwanag ’yung parameters ng nominal value na gift, and so in-assign na po sa amin sa legal ng Office of the Chair ’yung pagbalangkas ng guidelines that will define the parameters for the value of gifts and the circumstances during which the gifts can be (accepted or rejected),” he added.

The instruction, according to Ronquillo, was to draft the IRR at the soonest possible time and the group working on it expects to finish the draft and present the same to the commission as a whole in two weeks.

He stressed that the guidelines would help ensure that all are properly guided as to the meaning of the word nominal or insignificant value.

“It merely says ‘nominal’ value or ‘insignificant’ value. What is nominal is subjective, what is insignificant is subjective; it depends on the person giving, it may depend on the person receiving. So we really need parameters to clarify to everyone,” he said.

Ronquillo further clarified that acceptable or unacceptable gifts are not just defined on the monetary value because “gifts may come in different forms,” something the Supreme Court has already decided on.

“It may be in the form of money, it may be in the form of kind, it may be in the form of paid vacation, among others. That’s the objective – to clear everything up” and include it in the parameters, he said.

On Monday, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra urged the CSC to issue guidelines on policies allowing public servants to accept tokens or gifts, pointing out that while there are existing laws concerning this matter, there are still gray areas that should be addressed.

Albayalde: P100K hefty

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde yesterday disputed the statement of Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Commissioner Greco Belgica that P100,000 is an “insignificant” gift.

For Albayalde, P100,000 is a hefty amount to be given as a gift or token of gratitude.

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero he would strictly implement the “no gift” policy of the CSC as part of their “voluntary commitment” to their clients in the bureau and to avoid malice in accepting gifts.  – With Emmanuel Tupas, Robertzon Ramirez

CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION GIFTS
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