As it continues to deliver its planned programs, projects, and activities for the calendar year 2021, the Civil Service Commission – Regional Office I (CSC RO I) held the Regional Conversation on May 6, 2021 via Zoom, participated in by all its officials and employees, including detailees and job order personnel.

A first for 2021 and the third virtual gathering since the Zoomustahan in June 2020 and the Family Day/Year-end Activity in December 2020, the conversation was undertaken to apprise the health and wellness of all CSC RO I personnel especially in the midst of the pandemic. The activity was also aimed to provide updates on welfare fund claims and loans, PRIME-HRM, 1st quarter accomplishments, and the construction of and planned transfer to the new CSC RO I building. It also served as a venue to discuss the effectiveness of work-from-home (WFH) arrangement especially during stringent quarantine classifications, or during office lockdowns.

Presiding over the conversation, Director IV Hedy Jose B. Lardizabal and Director III Josephine R. Altura encouraged the active participation of everyone especially on the timely presentations of the Department of Health – Center for Health Development Region I (DOH-CHD I) to learn about the updates on DOH programs, and to eliminate the lingering paranoia of having respiratory illnesses that might be symptoms of COVID-19. Director Lardizabal further reminded Field Office personnel to give full attention on the presentation of the Department of Budget and Management – Regional Office (DBM RO I) as their reference to ensure uniform interpretation and application of policies relative to appointment processing.

Dr. Rheuel Bobis, Chief of the Infectious Disease Unit and Focal Person for Covid-19, and Dra. Magnolia Bravante, Chief of the Non-Communicable Disease Unit and Chairperson of the Task Force on Demand Generation for COVID-19 Vaccine Program, both of DOH-CHD I, discussed the Regional COVID-19 programs including updates on vaccination in Region 1, and clarified the differences between COVID-19 symptoms and ordinary respiratory illnesses. Meanwhile, Ms. Myrna C. Cadaoas, Chief Budget and Management Specialist, and Mr. Julius Jose M. Camara, Senior Budget and Management Specialist, of DBM RO I, explained the principles behind the upgrading of the entry level of Nurse Positions as per Budget Circular No. 2020-4, s, 2020, and their findings relative to their review on certain LGU positions created.

The event also served as an occasion to celebrate achievements and triumphs of CSC RO I units and staff relative to office operations and institutional contests. Also, the Concept Development Team (CDT) of the office gave updates on its plans for the year’s PRAISE Loyalty Awarding and Family Day. For its part, the Pagkakaisang Walang Dapat Alinlangan (PAGWADAN) Employee Association, the PINTIG Region I Chapter, committed its support to the CDT in its planned activities, informed the members of its pending request from the DOH for vitamins and maintenance medicines, and presented plans in generating funds to augment PAGWADAN finances.

Overall, the regional conversation was a success as all the objectives were met, and the participants were generally satisfied with the topics discussed, as well as with the manner the activity was facilitated. It was, however, suggested that more time be allotted especially for issues that would need the advice of invited subject matter experts (SMEs) from other government agencies. Majority of the feedback called for making the conversation a regular undertaking to serve as a respite from the monotony and pressures of work, and an opportunity for all CSC RO I personnel to get together even via virtual mode.

In closing, Director Lardizabal extended gratitude for the dynamic participation of everyone, and for the patience in keeping up with the whole day activity. With the outcome of the conversation, he expressed excitement towards another conduct of the same in the future, as he also exhibited the same level of enthusiasm on the transfer to the new CSC RO I building in July 2021.

by: PALD