9 December 2021 - The Civil Service Commission (CSC) reminded government employees to keep yearend and holiday festivities safe and simple as the nation continues to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

CSC Chairperson Alicia dela Rosa-Bala said that, while the country is still at low-risk classification, the threats brought by the pandemic continue to exist especially with the emergence of the B.1.1.529 variant or Omicron variant.

She said that physical gatherings may be allowed, subject to current and applicable guidelines issued by the IATF and the local government, adding, “Virtual celebrations, on the other hand, are much safer and allows agencies to hold a simultaneous gathering for all their employees across the regions. It just requires a little more creativity to make it engaging and enjoyable even without face-to-face interaction.”

The CSC chief added that physical gatherings still pose a huge risk and may even affect public service delivery if employees get infected by COVID-19 at the same time.

The CSC also reminded agencies to make sure that there will be no disruption in public services. Offices may opt to conduct these activities outside office hours or ensure adequate skeletal workforce to attend to their clients and other urgent matters during official business hours.