DOLE Adopts Code of Conduct to Fight Corruption, Promote Better Public Service

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MANILA, Philippines (PNA) - Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz on Wednesday signed an administrative order adopting a code of conduct for all Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) officials and employees, effectively ending the year 2010 and her first six months in office with what she described as an "inward-looking strategy to promote transparency and excellent public service and to arm and position everyone in the DOLE in the battle against all forms of graft and corruption"."Today, on the eve of the commemoration of the 114th anniversary of the martyrdom of the national hero Dr. Jose Rizal, the DOLE joins the Filipino nation in a pledge to ensure good and efficient governance, in pursuit of President Benigno S. Aquino III in his 22-point labor and employment agenda, by adopting a code of conduct that will govern our way of life as public servants in the next six years and beyond," Baldoz said shortly after she issued Administrative Order No. 476 in Intramuros, Manila.Baldoz is the first labor and employment Secretary to issue a specific code of conduct for the DOLE which during the last six months had laid the groundwork for a series of reform measures in pursuit of the President's labor and employment agenda.As a code of conduct, A.O. No. 476 contains specific rules on fidelity to duty; conflict of interest; solicitation and acceptance of gifts; outside employment; nepotism; cronyism; confidentiality; post-employment; procurement of goods, consulting services, and infrastructure projects; reporting of malpractices, corruption, and other protected disclosures; penalties and sanctions; and incentives and rewards system.The code is largely based on Republic Act No. 6713, otherwise known as the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, enacted during the term of the late President Corazon C. Aquino. R.A. 6713 sets the norms of conduct for all government officials and employees.She said the DOLE's code's objectives are "to serve as an instrument of the DOLE mission, vision and goal, and live the core values; to set the guidelines and parameters for the 9,208 DOLE officials and employees to meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity in the performance of their duties; to serve as preventive measure to avert corrupt practices; to provide applicable administrative sanctions for any violation; and to establish effective mechanisms for excellent conduct and accountability and provide rewards and incentives."The code is also guided by the provisions of R.A. 9485 (Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007); R.A. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act); R.A. 9184 (Government Procurement Reform Act); 1987 Administrative Code; Civil Service Rules and Regulations; Presidential Decree No. 749 (Granting Immunity from Prosecution to Givers of Bribes and Other Gifts to their Accomplices in Bribery and other Graft Cases against Public Officers); P.D. No. 46 (Making it Punishable for Public Officials and Employees to Receive, and for Private Persons to Give, Gifts on any Occasion, including Christmas); P.D. No. 6 (Amending Certain Rules on Discipline of Government Officials and Employees), and Title VII, Revised Penal Code (Crimes Committed by Public Officers). …