MANILA — Public servants are urged to uphold policies promoting gender equality, disability and social inclusion (GEDSI) in the workplace.
In her speech at the GEDSI in the Human Resources forum, Civil Service Commission (CSC) chair Alicia dela Rosa-Bala said some people still suffer from discrimination because of their age, disability, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation and social class.
Citing the story of a transwoman who was denied access to a comfort room in a mall, Bala said everyone has specific and unique needs which must be addressed with sensitivity and responsiveness.
“Instances such as this helps us in the government to see how much else must be done. The United Nations held its first high level meeting on gender diversity and non-binary identities in New York last July 18 where people of different sexual orientation who have been elected to higher offices worldwide were acknowledged,” she said.
Bala said every individual, regardless of sexual orientation, has talents and skills that can contribute to the country’s development and economy.
As the primary human resource institution of the government, the CSC recognizes this and promotes gender equality in the bureaucracy.
To ensure that no applicant or employee is discriminated, Bala cited the Omnibus Rules on Appointments and Other Human Resource Action which prohibited discriminatory practices in the implementation of the Agency Merit Selection Plan and Human Resource Merit Promotion and Selection Board.
“The CSC also issued policies addressing gender gaps of both internal and external clients on the establishment of daycare and breastfeeding center, sexual harassment in the workplace, special leave privileges provided for in the Magna Carta for Women, maternity and paternity leave, leave for solo parents, equal representation of men and women in third level positions in government and on the use of non-sexist language in all official documents, communications and issuances,” she said.
Bala added the CSC developed knowledge products, including training modules on gender sensitivity seminar, sexual harassment, and guidebook for gender-responsive communication for information offices.
“With this forum, we can make our human resource standards more at par with the global human resource standards. I enjoin all stake holders to continue seeking ways of exercising gender sensitivity and responsiveness in the workplace,” she said.
Meanwhile, former Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said gender equality and social inclusion are “social goods” which provide the society an opportunity to reach its full potential in terms of economy and level of governance.
“We still have a long way to go before the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) rights become fully accepted in Philippine society and every little effort to promote them is important and should be enforced. Our hope is that policies on respect for LGBTQ rights are policies that our employees to observe on their own volition not because the administration orders them to do so,” Taguiwalo said.
“The CSC is constitutionally mandated to promote morale, efficiency, integrity, responsiveness, progressiveness and courtesy in the civil service. It is duty bound to lead in ensuring gender responsiveness and equal opportunity in the workplace in the bureaucracy,” she added.
The GEDSI forum, which seeks to increase awareness of GEDSI concepts and the importance of workplace inclusivity and diversity, was attended by the CSC employees and representatives from other government agencies.