Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea has reminded all government workers, including public officials, to refrain from engaging in partisan political activities amid election season.
In a memorandum dated Nov. 8, Medialdea directed the heads, officers, and employees of all state departments and offices to “uphold the principle of political neutrality in government at all times.”
The order also covers the officials and personnel of government-owned or -controlled corporations, government financial institutions, and state universities and colleges, and uniformed agencies.
“As we approach the 2022 national and local elections, public officials and employees must all the more uphold political neutrality in the government service, maintain professionalism in the discharge of their duties, and guarantee that government programs are administered in a nonpartisan manner,” the memorandum read.
Citing the 1987 Constitution, Medialdea said any officer or employee in the civil service, regardless of the nature of appointment, as well as members of the armed forces, are prohibited from “engaging, directly or indirectly, in any partisan political activity.”
Partisan political activity, according to Batas Pambansa 881 or the Omnibus Election Code, is an act “designed to promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate or candidates to a public office.”
“Any government official or employee who acted in violation of the aforementioned restrictions shall be dealt with in accordance with civil service laws, the Omnibus Election Code and other relevant laws, policies and regulations,” it said.
Under the memorandum, officers and enlisted personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines may also be disciplined, consistent with the military due process under Commonwealth Act 408 or the Articles of War.
Medialdea also cited Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees which mandates every public official and employee to provide service to everyone “without discrimination and regardless of party affiliation and preference.”
He said the prohibition on electioneering and partisan political activities shall be applied without regard to the supported candidate or party, and shall extend to any conduct of government workers whether in traditional or new media.
“The foregoing notwithstanding, all public officials and employees are encouraged to exercise fully and freely, and to the extent not prohibited by the Constitution and laws, their right to participate in the electoral exercise, consistent with the democratic processes of the country,” Medialdea said.