Facebook use in gov't saps productivity: CSC

By David Dizon, abs-cbnNEWS.com

Posted at Jun 03 2011 04:31 PM | Updated as of Jun 04 2011 11:07 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Civil Service Commission (CSC) on Friday said it bans computer games and social networking sites such as Facebook in government offices because it saps productivity.

In an interview, CSC chairman Francisco Duque said he first implemented the ban on Facebook and computer games inside his own office as far back as June 2010. He said he instructed the information management system (IMS) director to restrict the use of social networking sites.

He cited a report by Challenger, Gray and Christmas that showed that Facebook use leads to millions of dollars in losses to productivity in the US.

"They said this was a productivity killer. Human resources offices of certain companies had also established how frequent use of social networks would bring down productivity levels," he told ANC's "Headstart."

Under CSC rules, government employees found playing computer games or going to social networking sites face a reprimand or warning for the first offence, suspension for the second and dismissal for the third offense.

Duque said there was practically no resistance when he implemented the ban. He said the Office of the President also asked for the CSC's recommendations on social media use in government, which were later approved.

Manila City Hall earlier banned Facebook use and computer games for employees during office hours. Only department heads, elected officials, personnel from the public information unit and electronic data processing unit have free access to the Internet.

Officials said the restriction is to provide better service to the public.

Should a need arise for the employee to use the Internet for work, the employee must get permission and a password from the department head.

Makati, Parañaque and Quezon City halls have also implemented limited access to the Internet.

The Quezon City Mayor's office said this is to ensure their employees are more efficient and professional.

Other local government units now plan to follow the various city halls in banning computer games and social networking sites to further improve the service they give to the public. -- with a report from Jing Castañeda, ABS-CBN News