The 3rd Quarter Issue of the CS Reporter for 2020 is out! Download it here
 
FROM THE CHAIRPERSON'S DESK
 
Bouncing forward
 
Months of navigating through uncertainty and constant change must have been very challenging for all of us. Nonetheless, if you are still breathing, eating, working, or if you are reading this piece right now, I must say that we somehow manage to get by each day. How? I do not know exactly, but being a spiritual person, I would say it is because of the grace of the Almighty.
 
Zooming in to the human agency, they say that one of the most important values we must possess to survive this crisis is “resilience” or the ability to recover from or adjust easily and quickly to misfortune or change (Merriam-Webster). It is also defined as the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape after deformation especially by compressive stress (dictionary.com). This is why we often encounter the phrase “bounce back” whenever we join a webinar or read an article about resilience. But will we ever get back to our normal shape? Is it possible for things to get back to the way they used to be? Will we ever be the same again?

With the ongoing pandemic and the forecasts about future trends in work and life in general, I doubt that we will get back to our old ways. This is perhaps the reason why experts in the subject of resilience have revisited the way the word is framed and have looked into how this term can be more relevant in the present time.

Taryn Marie Stejskal, Chief Resilience Officer of Resilience Leadership, highlighted in her talk during the 2020 HR and L&D Innovation Tech Fest that resilience is not just about merely bouncing back, or finding stability amid turbulent times. Rather, resilience is more about bouncing forward—letting yourself be bent, stretched, or compressed by difficult circumstances such as crises, but being able to get back on your feet as a new person, a stronger one.
 
This is what the Civil Service Reporter 3rd Quarter Issue 2020 is all about—bouncing forward with focus on the 120th Philippine Civil Service Anniversary (PCSA) theme, “Public Sector in the Age of Digital Transformation”. With the COVID-19 pandemic, we have certainly shared a lot of experiences, struggles, and lessons to learn that can help us become wiser and stronger individuals and organizations. The primary issue being the rapid digital transformation or the hastened Fourth Industrial Revolution.
 
The first few months following the declaration of community quarantine have tested our agility to adapt quickly to the changing demands. But now, it is about how we allow our shared experiences to shape us and our new normal without fixating our eyes and hopes on getting back to normal as in “before-COVID-19”. This CS Reporter issue aims to accompany you in your musings about the new shape of the public sector and civil servants during and post-COVID-19.

Our cover puts the 120th PCSA on spotlight. Read the cover story on pp. 24-28. Dive deep into why CSC has chosen the theme “Public Sector in the Age of Digital Transformation” and see how different government agencies and partners worked together to make this month-long celebration possible despite the ongoing pandemic and social gathering restrictions. The 120th PCSA was divided into four weeks with sub-theme each: Linggo ng Lingkod Bayani, Linggo ng Yamang Tao, Linggo ng Malasakit, and Linggo ng Pasasalamat.
 
The News section (pp. 8-14) highlights the different policies and issuances of the Civil Service Commission that facilitate changes in recruitment and appointment, and show malasakit (compassion) to government scholars overseas and to civil servants who have left the service either through retirement or voluntary resignation. An article is also dedicated to the CSC’s participation in the 53rd Anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Highlights on how some ASEAN Member States’ civil service are coping with COVID-19 are featured on the Executive Letter on pages 29-33.
 
The Regional News gives you a glimpse on how some of our very own CSC Regional Offices II, VII, and XII manage to adapt to digital transformation and continuously perform vital functions such as providing orientation on the Program to Institutionalize Meritocracy and Excellence in Human Resource Management (PRIME-HRM).

The Citizen’s Guide (pp. 15-17) provides a refresher on online government services. In light of the celebration of Buwan ng Wika in August, we also feature Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino and share some Filipino translations of words related to HR and digital transformation in the section Alam Mo Ba? (Did You Know? p. 18).

You can get more future-oriented insights on our HR Spotlight section (pp. 33-40) which contains articles that discuss emerging HR practices in recruitment, onboarding and performance management; building pandemic-proof leadership competencies; and the journey of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) during the pandemic.
 
Our Health and Wellness section (pp. 45-49) highlights the importance of empathic communication in the workplace and connecting with colleagues during pandemic.

Moreover, we encourage you to check out our Outlook section (pp. 19-22) and be inspired by the original compositions of featured civil servants and the winning photo entries for the PCSA Online Photography Contest titled “Journey to Our New Normal”.

It is our hope that the 3rd Quarter issue of the CS Reporter magazine for this year gives you valuable insights and inspiration to bounce forward through this age of meaningful transition.
 
 
(Sgd.) ALICIA dela ROSA-BALA
Chairperson
Civil Service Commission