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LOYALTY PAYS : Long-serving gov't workers find hope in new CSC measure

RHODELIA "Del" Radam Divina was crestfallen after she failed her latest Career Service Examinations (CSE) by single point despite having clocked years of actual work experience in a government office and have undergone intensive review.

"Mahirap 'yung last exam ko, lalo na 'yung mathematics and problem solving para sa katulad kong matagal nang grumadweyt, o 'yung mga kumukuha ng exam na ang course nila ay hindi naman related sa math. Actually, na-discouraged na tuloy akong kumuha uli ng exam kasi sobrang hirap talaga," she said.

(My last exam was difficult, especially the mathematics and problem solving for long-time graduates like me, or those taking the exam whose course is not related to math. Actually, I was discouraged from taking the exam again because it was really hard.)

But new hope has emerged for Divina and other government workers like her.

Divina, 60, has dutifully served in government for about 41 years. But as she nears mandatory retirement, her dream of gaining a second level of eligibility and job promotion remains elusive.

A new Civil Service issuance may however, just be what Divina and thousands of other public servants have been praying for.

Under CSC Resolution No. 2301123, which was promulgated on December 7, 2023, government workers who have been in the service for at least 10 years and have acquired relevant knowledge and skills but do not possess the appropriate civil service eligibility may apply for the Grant of Career Service Eligibility – Preference Rating (CSE-PR).

This means a preference rating of a maximum of 10 points shall be added to the failed rating range (70.00 to 79.99) to achieve the passing rate of 80 for qualified applicants in Career Service Examinations (CSEs), thereby qualifying them for Career Service Professional or Sub-professional eligibility.

In a statement, CSC Chairperson Karlo Nograles acknowledged the prevalent circumstance where numerous government employees, driven by a genuine commitment to public service, find themselves lacking the requisite civil service eligibility.

In recognition of these government workers who have already contributed so much in our efforts to provide efficient public service, the CSC has resolved to grant them a CSE preference rating under specific conditions,” he added.

The Resolution covers workers collectively called JOCOSC6 in the government service. These include individuals under Job Order (JO), Contract of Service (COS), Casual, Contractual, Coterminous, employees holding Category III and Category IV positions as enumerated in CSC Memorandum Circular No. 10 dated 16 April 2013, and Career service employees with first level eligibility.

To qualify, applicants need to have accumulated a minimum of 10 years of service in the government as JOCOSC6, along with a performance rating of at least Very Satisfactory or its equivalent in the two most recent rating periods before the application date for eligibility.

Moreover, JOCOSC6 individuals interested in availing the CSE-PR must have applied for and taken the scheduled Professional or Subprofessional levels exam beginning with the March 3, 2024 CSE.

For Kervin Valerio, who holds an administrative staff position in a government office in Quezon City, the new Civil Service Commission (CSC) resolution is a welcome development. 

"Natutuwa po ako sa bagong resolusyon ni CSC kasi mas may chance nang pumasa. Kasi, siyempre dati iniisip mo dapat 80 (percent) ang passing, pero ngayon, kahit 70 (percent) na kasi may 10 points na pwedeng idagdag," he said.

(I am happy with CSC's new resolution because there’s a better chance of passing. Because before, you used to think passing should be 80 percent, but now, even 70 percent is ok because there are 10 points that can be added.)

"Na-motivate din ako na kumuha ng exam dahil dun sa additional 10 points, pero siyempre ang aim ko pa rin ay pumasa at makakuha ng at least 80 (percent)," he added.

(I was also motivated to take the exam because of the additional 10 points, but of course my aim is still to pass and get at least 80 percent.)

The exam barrier now seems less daunting with the Civil Service Commission's (CSC) new resolution granting additional rating points for qualified government employees lacking civil service eligibility.

The initiative gives workers like Del and Kervin renewed opportunity to have their years of public service experience credited toward gaining eligibility.

"This initiative acknowledges government workers driven by genuine commitment to public service but find themselves missing the required eligibility due to circumstances," Nograles explained.

The grant of the preference rating is an exceptional privilege extended only to those who have already demonstrated their ability to satisfy the demands of the job despite not having the required civil service eligibility. Through this initiative, we acknowledge that actual job experience is given due consideration in measuring one’s aptitude to perform the duties of a public servant. We are mindful, however, of the need to uphold meritocracy in the hiring process and to ensure that the quality of government service will not be compromised. Therefore, the conferment of CSE-PR will go through a meticulous process so that only those who are truly qualified may avail of this privilege.”

Chairperson Nograles, however, clarified that individuals can only avail themselves of the CSE-PR grant once.

For Del and Kervin, whose extensive experience could not buoy them exam scores, the policy change comes as a ray of hope. While upholding meritocracy, it gives due recognition to the actual contributions of long-serving employees like them.

More importantly, it reaffirms the value of frontline public service veterans who keep government machinery running despite lacking paper qualifications.

With preference points complementing their real-world experience, dedicated government specialists like Del and Kervin can aspire for overdue advancement and unlock their full potential before retirement.

It is better late than never for policies that empower diligent bureaucrats. As Del and Kervin look forward to trying again in the next CSE, many will benefit from recognition of their irreplaceable institutional knowledge and on-the-job excellence. For more details, please visit the csc website: (AVS/PIA-NCR)

About the Author

Alice Sicat

Information Officer IV


Assistant Regional Director of PIA-NCR

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