MANILA (UPDATE) - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) issued a memorandum Monday discouraging its employees from posting negative comments about the government on social
Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda confirmed to ABS-CBN News the issuance of the memo, which directed heads of DENR offices at the provincial, and city-level to dissuade their employees from posting negative comments about the government on social media as the coronavirus pandemic persists.
"Please advise all your employees, including those under Contract of Service, not to comment or post negative in (sic) the social media against the government," the memorandum, issued by DENR Assistant Regional Director for Management Services Marcos Dacanay, reads.
"As a government employee, we should exemplify discipline to the community and promote cooperation to the government," the memo added.
The memorandum has been making rounds online with some netizens saying that it goes against freedom of expression.
"This is just a simple reminder. There is no disciplinary action against that. It's their freedom also but it's just to remind them that you know, you don't bite the hand that feeds you," Antiporda told ABS-CBN News.
"It is just to remind them that the government needs the help of each and everyone," he added.
Antiporda said "destructive" comments of some government employees against the Duterte administration prompted the issuance of the memo. He, however, claimed that such statements were not issued by DENR employees.
MEMO BASED ON CODE OF CONDUCT FOR GOV'T EMPLOYEES
In a statement sent to ABS-CBN News, Civil Service Commissioner Aileen Lizada said the DENR memorandum was based on Republic Act 6713, or the code of conduct for government employees and public officials, which mandates professionalism and commitment to public interest over and above personal interest among government employees.
“Yung weight na nasa each and every official and employee, they should bear in mind that they represent the institution,” Lizada explained.
Lizada said that government employees should always remember that they represent the agency they work for.
“Sometimes hindi natin matanggal yung pagkatao ng isang empleyado. Dapat they should bear in mind, when you post something, you carry with you yung pagiging government employee. Kaya, ingat dapat,” she said.
"Kasi, kung hindi mo titutulungan ang agency mo, magko-comment ka pa ng negative, bakit ka nandyan?” Lizada added.