Way forward 2014-2016
Baldoz ups DOLE challenge on accepting bribes and gifts for all occasions and from all clients
Determined to make DOLE graft- and corruption-free, and to ensure that its efficiency and integrity initiatives from 2014-2016 are fully realized, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday ordered all DOLE officials and employees not to accept–by politely turning down–bribes and gifts of any kind from its clients and from all people having any transaction with the DOLE and its offices in any occasion.
“This latest measure is one of the ‘way forward’ steps that we will take starting this year until 2016,” Baldoz said.
Baldoz’s order came in the heels of the DOLE’s positive showing in the public’s perception of the government’s anti-corruption campaign.
Last week, she welcomed as good news the release by the SWS of the results of its survey showing that the DOLE, for the first time it was included in the survey, netted a ‘good’ rating of +43 in sincerity in fighting corruption.
The survey was supported by AusAid, National Competitiveness Council and the Integrity Initiative, an anti-corruption movement being pushed by a consortium of 21 groups and associations that includes the Makati Business Club.
Baldoz is one of the first 16 high government officials who signed the Integrity Pledge in 2012.
However, Baldoz explained a lot still needs to be done in terms of totally erasing perception in some sectors about corruption in the DOLE, hence her order.
“We shall no longer tolerate wholesale labeling saying “that this DOLE region, or that office of the DOLE, is corrupt.” We need to go down to the nitty-gritty, lay down our cards, and say, “Enough. That’s not right.”, she added.
Baldoz said NOT accepting bribes and/or gifts is a bolder challenge, stating that “by not accepting, the DOLE is telling the world a new culture is emerging at the DOLE”.
“Wala nang tatanggap ng lagay at/o regalo sa alinmang okasyon o sa anupamang dahilan upang ganap nang mahinto ang perception na may korapsyon sa DOLE; na umaandar lang ang papel sa atin dahil sa lagay, ‘pampadulas’, o ‘regalo’ mula man sa labor o sa employer,” Baldoz said, not mincing any words.
“We must condemn all forms of alleged bribe-giving and alleged bribe-taking in the Department by leading as examples. We must stop receiving any gift, and inform our clients politely not to send or give any gift,” she finally added.
Baldoz reminded every DOLE official and employee that for public officials and employees to receive, and for private persons to give, gifts on any occasion, including Christmas, is punishable under the law. She also reminded them that under Section 1, Rule III of the Code of Conduct for DOLE Officials and Employees (Administrative Order No. 476 Series of 2010), solicitations and acceptance of gifts, whether directly or indirectly, is prohibited, and offenders are subject to penalties under Civil Service Commission rules.
Baldoz issued the order at the three-day DOLE-wide Planning Workshop at the Occupational Safety and Health in Quezon City, one of the highlights of which is a spirited discussion of the DOLE’s efficiency and integrity initiatives under Administrative Order No. 31, Series of 2013.
A.O. 31 is the DOLE Framework and Action Plan for Efficiency and Integrity Development to achieve and sustain “Quality and Integrity of DOLE Services”, with transparency, accountability, rule of law, and partnerships in governance serving as guideposts.
The “way forward” steps in this framework include the following measures:
(1) conduct of corruption resistance review for DOLE and its attached agencies through surveys and self-assessment);
(2) conduct of vulnerability assessments as part of strengthening accountability;
(3) conduct of random lifestyle check;
(4) development of Manual on Critical Operations to remove areas of discretion;
(5) installation of electronic feedback and complaints linked to DOLE website; and
(6) e-briefing, with feedback, on anti-corruption laws, rules, and regulations.
“At DOLE today, we have even installed CCTV cameras in areas where frontline services and transactions are done. Action plans include advocacy to promote integrity among DOLE officials and employees; capacity-building for complaint/case investigation; integration of values education in the Continuous Labor Education Program; inclusion of compliance with anti-graft and corruption laws in the industry’s Voluntary Codes of Good Practices; and forging collaboration with oversight agencies, such as the COA, CSC, and Ombudsman, and other international bodies promoting transparency and democratic governance,” Baldoz enumerated.