FROM THE CHAIRPERSON'S DESK
This year’s second quarter has been very difficult for all of us. One day we were working and chatting with our colleagues within our office’s premises; the next day, we were instructed to stay at home due to the danger posed by COVID-19 transmission. Organizations were forced to implement alternative work arrangements. While our frontliners—medical and social workers, and law enforcers—risk their lives to faithfully perform their duties outside their homes, the rest of us navigate through unfamiliar circumstances to shape our new normal in and outside our workplaces, prioritizing as well our personal and family members’ health and safety.
All of these were not easy things to deal with. People encountered varying levels of stress and anxiety. It is with this understanding and empathy that the Civil Service Commission (CSC) offers you its 2nd Quarter Issue of the CS Reporter magazine. As the central human resource institution of the Philippine government, we believe that now is a most opportune time to highlight public service heroism and human resource (HR) innovations.
We highlight in the News section the CSC’s response to the COVID-19 workplace challenges through the issuances that we released. These include CSC Memorandum Circular No. 10, s. 2020 or the Revised Interim Guidelines for Alternative Work Arrangements and Support Mechanisms for Workers in the Government During the Period of State of National Emergency Due to COVID-19 Pandemic, and CSC-DOH-DOLE Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1, s. 2020 or the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Standards for the Public Sector (see page 50).
We gathered stories of COVID-19 frontliners, placing in the limelight the man behind the Filipino-made COVID-19 detection kit—Dr. Raul V. Destura (story on page 22). In the Citizen’s Guide and HR Spotlight sections, we recognize organizations that introduced digital innovations in public service delivery (see page 17) and HR best practices in the new normal (see page 32).
Spotlight is also on people’s mental health these days as many of us try to cope with feelings of isolation, the blurring of work and family time, and the stress and anxiety for our own safety. See our Health and Wellness at Work section to regain some clarity on how to look after one’s wellbeing in these trying times (see page 47).
You are not alone. The CSC is here to help in any way it can as an institution—whether it is through crafting policies, holding webinars, or any other platforms where we can inspire government workers, especially leaders, to step up in this crisis. In my keynote message delivered during the Chief Information Officer Forum last 25 June 2020, I emphasized that “the future belongs to the most agile individuals and organizations who are willing to accelerate and embrace new possibilities presented by technology and paradigm shifts. This will signal the emergence of public sector leaders who do not shy away from the challenges brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution but gravitate toward it; who do not see digital advancement as threatening but welcome it as something creative, exciting, inspiring, and enriching.” If you wish to see the full transcript of this keynote message, see the Executive Letter on page 28.
We dedicate this issue to all our valued stakeholders in the hope that through the stories that we feature, we can inspire hope, courage, and action despite this seemingly paralyzing pandemic. While we feature individuals and organizations who are courageously braving the odds, this issue also invites everyone to introspect, look from within, and listen to that voice inside each of us that says ‘You can do it. You can still make a difference despite these circumstances. This too shall pass. Be brave.’
Mabuhay ka, lingkod bayani!
(Sgd.) Alicia dela Rosa-Bala
Civil Service Commission