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Holy Trinity University

GRADUATE SCHOOL
Puerto Princesa City, Palawan

A Critique on

Republic Act No. 6713


AN ACT ESTABLISHING A CODE OF CONDUCT AND ETHICAL STANDARDS FOR
PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES, TO UPHOLD THE TIME-HONORED PRINCIPLE
OF PUBLIC OFFICE BEING A PUBLIC TRUST, GRANTING INCENTIVES AND
REWARDS FOR EXEMPLARY SERVICE, ENUMERATING PROHIBITED ACTS AND
TRANSACTIONS AND PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS THEREOF AND FOR
OTHER PURPOSES

Special Questions on Ethics in the Public Administration


Prepared by: JUAN F. PUJOL, JR., MBA
Professor: FR. JOHN VIEN NGUYEN , M. Div., J.C.L.
7/14/2018
Date Submitted
REPUBLIC ACT No. 6713

AN ACT ESTABLISHING A CODE OF CONDUCT AND ETHICAL STANDARDS FOR PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND
EMPLOYEES, TO UPHOLD THE TIME-HONORED PRINCIPLE OF PUBLIC OFFICE BEING A PUBLIC TRUST,
GRANTING INCENTIVES AND REWARDS FOR EXEMPLARY SERVICE, ENUMERATING PROHIBITED ACTS
AND TRANSACTIONS AND PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS THEREOF AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Critique for R.A. 6713

R.A. 6713 aims to promote a high standard of ethics in public service. Public officials

and employees shall at all times be accountable to the people and shall discharge their duties

with utmost responsibility, integrity, competence, and loyalty, act with patriotism and justice,

lead modest lives, and uphold public interest over personal interest. The law expects public

officials to be accountable to the people in the matter of their integrity and competence.

Being the head of a national government office and part of my responsibility is the

implementation and overseeing compliance with R.A. No. 6713, the government agency I lead

must reverse the growing culture of corruption in the this colonial government, where positions

could be bought and officials could be bribed. This means only the best and the brightest should

be in the government service. The way public institutions manage public affairs and public

resources is something that draws controversy and criticism. I would believe that the government

agency I lead is created to uphold a merit-based recruitment system. The rationale behind this is

that excellent human resource equals excellent public service.

As provided under the 1987 Constitution, every government agency is mandated to adopt

measures to promote morale, efficiency, integrity, responsiveness, and courtesy in the

organization, strengthen the merit and rewards system, integrate all human resource development

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programs for all levels and ranks, and institutionalize a management climate conducive to public

accountability.

Every government organization must always be in the thick of fighting corruption.

Corruption has different layers and may spread like a virus if not contained. If every government

agency does its role accordingly, it creates opportunities to prevent corrupt practices in the

organization. In instances when eliminating corruption is considered as a hopeless case, public

officials and employees must take their jobs seriously, and be responsible and accountable in

fighting corruption.

Ethics has been defined in a variety of ways. In general, it is identified as “the branch of

philosophy that deals with issues of right and wrong in human affairs”. In another definition,

ethics “refers to well-founded standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to

do, usually in terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtue”.

In the context of Philippine government, the highest standards of ethics are embodied in

Republic Act No. 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and

Employees. RA 6713 also bears the eight (8) norms of conduct – commitment to public interest,

professionalism, justness and sincerity, political neutrality, responsiveness to the public,

nationalism and patriotism, commitment to democracy, and simple living. These norms of

conduct govern the principle of ethics for the dedicated and ethical government employee who

works in an environment where corruption thrives. The same norms promote the idea that even

in the smallest of matters, a government employee should be able to withstand temptation, reject

mediocrity, and protect his or her integrity.

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Administrative and disciplinary cases stem from failure to uphold ethical standards. A

public servant who does not spend all paid hours in official work is already stealing from the

Filipino people. Someone who does not report an anomalous transaction may have just allowed

something worse to happen. Sexual harassment in the workplace is also unethical and wrong.

Today, public servants seem to be more and more lax on what is considered as unethical.

By not being vigilant enough, government employees become participants in maintaining

an unethical culture. In government, it is important to care enough so as to stop or stem unethical

practices before they become systemic. The more employees ignore wrong doings, the more

ethical standards get lowered.

Integrity, also known as moral uprightness and strong adherence to honesty and fairness,

is closely linked to ethics. Integrity also refers to wholeness and completeness. This is an

important definition and well worth thinking over. Such expressions such as “the integrity of the

exam” or the “the integrity of the document” means something remains untainted, and was not

tampered with or altered. When a person commits something unethical, in a sense he or she also

loses his or her wholeness. There is damage already done to a person’s character.

As much as possible, integrity must be maintained especially in the government office

and even in private offices. A person with integrity cannot afford to do something that would

damage it. Some people may think that they maintain their integrity by keeping their

wrongdoings a secret. Exposed or not, however, they have already damaged their integrity. After

all, integrity involves doing the right thing even if nobody sees the person.

As a government official, I have the duty of protecting not only my integrity but also that

of the government. As an official, I owe the Filipino people to have integrity. It means, I cannot

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be bribed, bought, swayed, coerced, or made to do something that does not adhere to the highest

moral standards.

As a public official, I am accountable to the citizens of the country. Everything I do,

spend and being implemented are all my accountabilities to the Filipino citizens. I must set aside

my personal interests and give priority to the interest of the majority.

Working in government is different compared to working in private organizations

because public officials and employees are not only looking out for themselves or for their

organization. The public servants’ focus is delivering services for the benefit of their main

clientele—the Filipino people. Public servants are primarily in their positions to serve, and not to

be served.

In the context of public service, accountability is always directed to public funds. This is

especially a sensitive topic in a country like Philippines where majority of the people are living

below poverty line where taxes and consumer items are increasing. As a public official, I will

always be answerable to my own actions.

It is common in every government agency to show respect to the Philippine flag every

morning during the flag raising ceremony. This shows our Filipino identity. As a public official,

I must encourage my fellowmen men to participate and respect our flag and its anthem. Being

productive as a citizen, I must set myself as an example by being industrious and productive not

only for myself but for my country as well. By serving the Filipino people, I am serving the

nation. Philippines has so many issues. As a public official, I must be aware and updated on the

significant issues happening in the country. I must extend help to the needy fellowmen,

especially the victims of disasters like typhoons, flooding, etc. The country has so many

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achievements which I must be proud of. Filipinos are globally competitive in many aspects and

have brought honors for the country which I am proud of because these achievements unite the

citizens of the Philippines. The Philippines has rich natural resources that allow its people to

create quality goods and products. Therefore, it would be just that I show to my constituents and

encourage them to patronize our own products. By doing this, it will contribute to the

improvement of our economy. Our country is also rich in various colourful cultural elements

which I must be proud of. As a public official, I must encourage my employees to preserve and

promote the Filipino culture because our future generation will benefit from this culture. It is my

duty to show respect to every employee in the government agency and value our Filipino noble

norms and traditions. Our Philippine heroes have sacrificed for the country. Their heroism must

be remembered and commemorated. As Filipinos, we must stand united and show to the world

that we love one another and help each other in times of needs because of our love for our

mother country, the Philippines.

The employees look up to their government officials and it is important that transparency

is being practiced in the government office. Information should be easily accessible to the public.

Employees who showed exemplary service and conduct must be rewarded. Service to the public

must be granted to everyone without discrimination regardless of their affiliation.

As a government official, it is my duty to file under oath my statement of assets and

liabilities which I must also require my constituents to do the same.

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