Duque: 'No lunch break' for front-line offices

by Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Oct 23 2013 01:41 AM | Updated as of Oct 23 2013 09:41 AM

MANILA -- Commissioner Francis T. Duque of the Civil Service Commission reiterated that there is a "no lunch break" policy in government agencies, especially those providing front-line services.

This statement came after a photo showing two government employees playing computer games during office hours have circulated online.

In an interview with Doris Bigornia and Alvin Elchico on DZMM's S.R.O., Duque warned government employees to be very careful as the public becomes more vigilant.

"Ang taong bayan, nagmamatyag, lalo na sa mga kawani ng gobyerno," he adds.

When asked whether government employees are allowed to play computer games during their lunch breaks, Duque explained that they should spend their break eating, not playing games.

He added that computers in government agencies should not contain unnecessary video games and programs.

'No lunch break'

In accordance with R.A. 9485, or the Anti-Red Tape Act, all government offices, especially those providing front-line services, should implement a "no lunch break" policy.

This does not mean, however, that employees are not given a break to eat.

"Ibig sabihin, kakain ng mas maaga. Basta may maiiwan sa front desk," Duque clarified.

Front-line service delivery include those involved in the processing of government-issued documents, like driver's license, passports, birth certificates and other identification cards.

Warning, suspension

Duque explained that the employees shown in the photo may face suspension, depending on the investigation.

For simple misconduct, employees may be suspended from 1 month and a day to six months, without pay.

If it's proven that an employee committed grave misconduct, he or she can be suspended for 6 months to a year, with the possibility of dismissal.

The commissioner reminded the public to report irregularities in government agencies by sending a message to the Civil Service Commission's hotlines: 0918-881-6565, and 1-65-65.

"Bilang mga kawani ng gobyerno, dapat ang inaatupag natin ay kung paano maiaangat ang kalidad ng serbisyo," Duque reminded government employees.