Manager loses job over Facebook posts of Boracay trip

By Charlie Lagasca, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 05 2012 01:05 PM | Updated as of Jul 06 2012 12:52 AM

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines – Think before you post anything on Facebook because it may cost you your job.

Maynardo Valdez, manager of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-Nueva Ecija Information Center, realized this after the pictures of his Boracay trip were used against him in an administrative case which led to his dismissal.

Secretary Herminio Coloma of the Presidential Communications and Operations Office, which has jurisdiction over the PIA, recently affirmed the decision of PIA director general Jose Fabia to dismiss Valdez for dishonesty and gross neglect.

The PIA said Valdez’s action constitutes grave misconduct.

Fabia said Wednesday that Valdez closed his office for four days last year without permission and did not respond to calls and texts from his superiors.

Fabia said officials tried contacting Valdez through his Facebook account and instead saw pictures of him at a reunion on Boracay Island.

Valdez did not suspect that his bosses would take note that the pictures with the caption “Mabuhay! NEHS (Nueva Ecija High School) ’75 Pasyal sa Boracay July 18-21, 2011” bore dates on which he was supposed to be working at the Nueva Ecija information center in Cabanatuan City.

Fabia added that Valdez neglected his other duties like producing daily reports and surveying the sentiments of the people in the province.

Fabia said this was probably the first time in the Philippines and possibly also in the world that an erring government official’s actions were tracked down by means of Facebook and sanctions were imposed against him.

“This incident is a reminder to all government employees and officials that they are responsible for their actuations and activities while in the service of the community,” PIA regional director for Cagayan Valley Purita Licas said.

Valdez says he will appeal the decision.