All officials and employees of the DOLE have until 31 March to file their annual Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN), but this early, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz is calling on all of them to prepare their SALNs and avoid last-minute rush to beat the deadline.

“Section 8 of Republic Act 6713, or the “Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees”, requires all government officials and employees to submit declarations, under oath, of their assets, liabilities, net worth, and financial business interests, including those of their spouses and of unmarried children under 18 years of age living in their households. We must religiously comply with this requirement,” said Baldoz.

“A public office is a public trust. This statement carries great weight, and goes beyond mere liability. It is a duty and moral responsibility of government officials and employees to practice and demonstrate transparency and accountability in public office,” she added.

The labor and employment chief also said the SALN’s objective is to check the lifestyle of state workers, including those of their families in relation to their incomes, and to serve as a check and balance in the government system.

In a memorandum dated 27 January, Baldoz instructed all DOLE officials and employees to accomplish in triplicate original copies of the revised SALN form, prescribed by the Civil Service Commission in Memorandum No. 2, Series of 2013, and to file these with their respective Human Resource Development Service or equivalent units.

Baldoz also reminded the HRDS officer or designate of the bureau or service to check and ensure the completeness of the SALNs of their respective employees before submission.

“These submissions will be the basis of the net worths of officials to be posted in the DOLE website,” Baldoz said, noting that the practice she begun when she assumed office as DOLE Secretary in 2010 is already part of the DOLE’s Efficiency and Integrity Development Plan, 2011-2016.

She further emphasized that failure of any DOLE official and employee to submit his SALN may result to his not being granted the 2013 Performance-Based Bonus (PBB).

“More importantly, failure to disclose or mis-declaration of any asset, liability, business interest, financial connection, and relative in the government in the SALN shall be punishable by law under RA 6713,” Baldoz explained.

“Issues surrounding the SALN may seem simple, but there are serious repercussions to even the simple negligence in its filing. This is because the SALN is a testament to a public servant’s transparency and accountability to the people,” she said further.

“It is a privilege to hold public office. It is a duty to render service honestly and fairly without fear or favor, and that includes taking seriously the filing of our SALN,” she said finally.

END/hjtg

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