Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Civil Service Week rites turns Ecija city hall into ‘ghost town’

PALAYAN CITY, Nueva Ecija–The annual observance of the Civil Service Week  marking the 113th anniversary of the country’s Civil Service has turned the City Hall in this provincial capital into a virtual ‘ghost town’ Monday after most offices here were padlocked, with employees streaming out for various activities, practically paralyzing the delivery of basic services to Palayanos.

          At the City Mayor’s Office, not one of the employees were present to provide a skeletal force to attend to residents having transactions with the city government.  Monday is the usual flag-raising ceremony for City Hall employees but it was waived since Mayor Rianne Cuevas was indisposed. She was reportedly recuperating in Manila.

          The city administrator, Cocoy Medina was also not around. She was also reportedly in Manila.

          Only architect Margie Angeles was around but she is not a rank-and-file employee but the mayor’s personal consultant.

          Several employees reportedly went to the city plaza in Barangay Concepcion to grace the Ginoo/Mutya ng Palaro 2013.

          The absence of City Hall employees has left many visitors empty-handed, including one from the nearby town of Bongabon who was unable to settle tax obligations for a property she owned.

          Only Vice Mayor Florante Mercado and city councilors were around but only because there was a session of the Sangguniang Panlunsod.

          The lack of City Hall personnel apparently stemmed from a memorandum issued on August 28 by Cuevas to members of the SP and the chiefs of offices requiring their participation in the anniversary rites for the Civil Service Week.

          In her four-page memorandum, a copy of which was obtained by The STAR, Cuevas enjoined all City Hall employees to be part of the celebration for this year’s rites which carries the theme : “Tatak Lingkod Bayan : Isabuhay, Ipagmalaki, Ipagbunyi.”

          Cuevas stressed that the celebration aims to promote camaraderie, unity and personnel development among the men and women in the city government.

          Aside from the search for the Ginoo/Mutya ng Palaro ng mga Kawani, the activities lined up were ehersisyaw (dance exercises), sportsfest, stress management seminar and the conduct of medical and physical examination for all City Hall employees wherein they would avail of free laboratory, physical and medical check-up provided by accredited clinics. These include ECG, urinalysis, X-ray, CBC, uric acid test, lipid profile and others.

          However, Cuevas’ memo failed to mention the need to maintain a skeletal force.

         A STAR source said the employees exploited the situation and went out of their offices. “’Pag wala ang pusa, naglalaro ang mga daga (When the cat is away, the mice will play),” the source said, quoting a popular saying.

The source said this would not have happened if the mayor, whom he described was “hard-working” and “very strict,” was around. (Manny Galvez)  


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