1. Reference: Civil Service Manual
Employee Conduct and Discipline
Fundamentals of Employee Discipline
Types and Classification of Offenses
Leilani Mariana G. Castelo
Ma Renee Gisela G. Veridiano
Ma. Rowena M. Ragandap
Ernesto R. Saludes, Jr
Mary Jane Diaz Fuentes
2. FUNDAMENTALS OF EMPLOYEE
Discipline generally refers to a person’s self-control, character,
or orderliness and efficiency usually developed through training. In
a large organization like the government, discipline serves as a
mechanism for control of the temperament, interest and action of
people within the organization. Discipline helps coordinate
government goals and public interests.
One basic policy of government concerning employee conduct
and discipline states: Public office is a public trust. Public officer and
employees must at all time be accountable to the people, serve them
with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency, act with
patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives”.
3. Government officers and employees like you are therefore,
obliged to prove that you are deserving of the people’s trust. Trust
forms the basis of your employment and tenure in public service.
Once this trust is broken, you as well as other government officers
and employees are held liable. You are answerable for your
misconduct to the people for whom the government derives its
power. The people’s taxes sustain your salaries and other benefits.
You are mere custodians or stewards of public office. You cannot
hold on to your public positions as you please. You must live by the
rules, regulations, norms, conduct and discipline that are at all times
expected of public servants. Public interest come first and foremost,
rising well above personal goals.
4. Employee Discipline
Good discipline is a process of education in which punishment
is resorted to only when no other recourse is open. At the same time
it deters others from committing unwanted conduct and behavior.
This is the very same reason behind developmental policy of
the government “to emphasize the positive rather than the punitive
aspect of personnel discipline.” This further means that if you are
administratively disciplined, the object is not primarily to punish
you but to improve public service and to preserve the people’s faith
and confidence in their government. The positive aspect of
personnel discipline supports development of values, skills and
attitudes. Giving due recognition and rewards to you and other
officers and employees who contribute significantly to public
service goals and objectives reinforces this brand of discipline.
5. Positive or preventive discipline educates and instills in you
the value of exemplary performance, quality outputs and high
standards of behavior. Negative or punitive discipline breeds fear
and threat of punishment and often forces you to obey orders. This
kind of discipline lapses into autocracy and makes you act only to
avoid penalty. In this way you lack motivation and fulfillment in your
The power to discipline, investigate and decide matters
involving disciplinary action against you and other officers and
employees rests on the heads of departments, agencies and
instrumentalities, provinces, cities and municipalities. However, this
power to discipline officers and employees does not exempt the
heads of offices from any accountability to the public. As discussed
earlier, “all” includes elective or appointive officials and
employees. In fact, even the President, the Vice president, the
Members of the Supreme Court, the Members of the Constitutional
Commissions, and the Ombudsman may be removed from office, by
6. 1. culpable violation of the Constitution;
3. bribery (direct or indirect);
4. other high crimes;
5. graft and corruption; or
6. betrayal of public trust.
In such cases, the Houses of Representatives has the
exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment. The Senate
meanwhile has the sole power to try and decide all cases of
impeachment. This principle of check and balance in the three
branches of government amplifies the accountability of public
officials and employees to the public.
7. One law relevant to employee conduct and discipline is the
Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act or Republic Act No. 3019 as
amended by Parliamentary Bill No. 453.
Another related law is P.D. No. 1606, creating a special
anti-graft court known as Sandiganbayan. The Sandiganbayan
was set up to try graft and corruption cases involving public
officials and employees. This court has jurisdiction over civil and
criminal cases involving graft and corrupt practices and such
other offenses committed by public officers and employees.
Meanwhile another law, P.D. 1607 created the Tanodbayan.
However, the 1987 Philippine Constitution changed the Title of
Tanodbayan to the Office of the Special Prosecutor. It will
continue to function and exercise its powers as previously
provided, except those conferred on the office of the
Ombudsman created under this Constitution. The Tanodbayan is
now known as the Ombudsman.
8. The Ombudsman and his Deputies, as protectors of the people,
are tasked to act promptly on complaints filed in any form or manner
against public officials or employees of the government, or any its
subdivision, agency or instrumentality, including governmentowned or controlled corporations.
Similarly, the general policy on employee conduct and
discipline states, “No officer or employee in the civil service shall be
removed or suspended except for cause as provided by law and
after due process.”
This means that you cannot be removed or suspended without
having a chance to defend yourself. However, you can invoke
security of tenure as long as you are competent, honest and
productive. If you violate the norms of acceptable behavior befitting
a government officer and employee, you may be separated from the
9. As discussed earlier, public officials and employees are
guided by rules, regulations, norms of conduct and ethical
standards. As part of your general duties and responsibilities, you
1. Take an oath or affirmation to uphold and defend the
2. Submit a declaration under oath, of your assets, liabilities
and net worth and a disclosure of business interests and
financial condition, including those of your spouse and
unmarried children under 18 years of age who are living in
3. Show allegiance to the State and the Constitution;
4. Act promptly on letters and requests or respond to letters,
telegrams or other means of communications sent by the
public within fifteen working days from receiving them. The
reply must contain the action taken;
10. 5. Process official documents and papers within a reasonable
time from their preparation, an the reply must contain, as far
as practicable, not more than three signatories;
6. Act immediately on the public’s personal transactions. You
must attend to whoever wants the services of your office and
must at all times render prompt, adequate and courteous
7. Make documents accessible to and readily available for
inspection by the public within reasonable working hours; and
8. Resign from your position in any private business enterprise
within 30 days from your assumption of office and or/or divest
yourself of share holdings or interests in the company within 60
days from such assumption of office.
Divestment must be to a persons other than your spouse and
relatives within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity.
11. NORMS OF CONDUCT
Pursuant to RA 6713*, the norms of conduct of public
officials and employees that you must observe in the
performance of your official duties are as follows:
1. Commitment to Public Interest. Always uphold the public
interest over and above your personal interest. All government
resources and powers of your office must be used efficiently,
effectively, honestly and economically, to avoid waste of public
funds and revenues.
12. 2. Professionalism. Perform your duties with the highest degree of
excellence, intelligence and skill. You must serve with utmost
devotion and dedication to duty. You must also endeavor to
discourage wrong perceptions of your role as dispenser or peddler
of undue patronage.
3. Justness and Sincerity. Remain true to the people at all times. Be
honest, just and sincere. Do not discriminate against anyone,
especially the poor and underprivileged. You are expected to
respect at all times the rights of others and to be honest in all your
transactions. Refrain from doing acts contrary to law, good morals,
good customs, public policy, public order, public safety and public
interest. You are not to dispense or extend undue favors on account
of your office to your relatives except with respect to appointments
of such relatives to positions considered strictly confidential or as
members of your personal staff whose terms are coterminous with
13. 4. Political Neutrality. Provide service to everyone, without
unfair discrimination and regardless of party affiliation or
5. Responsiveness to the Public. Extend prompt, courteous, and
adequate service to the public. Unless otherwise provided by
law or when required by the public interest, provide information
on policies and procedures in clear and understandable
language. Ensure openness of information by public
consultations and hearings whenever appropriate. Encourage
suggestions, simplify and systematize policies, rules and
procedures, and avoid red tape. Lastly, develop an
understanding and appreciation of the socio-economic
conditions prevailing in the country, especially in depressed
rural and urban areas.
14. 6. Nationalism and Patriotism. Be loyal at all times to the Republic
and to the Filipino people, promote the use of locally-produced goods,
resources and technology and encourage appreciation and pride of
country and people. You must endeavor to maintain and defend
Philippine sovereignty against foreign intrusion.
7. Commitment to Democracy. Commit your self to the democratic
way of life and values, maintain and/or observe the principle of public
accountability, and manifest by deeds the supremacy of civilian
authority over the military. You must at all times uphold the
Constitution and put loyalty to country above loyalty to person or party
8. Simple Living. You and your family are expected to lead modest
lives appropriate to your position and income. Do not indulge in
extravagant or ostentatious display of wealth in any form.
15. TYPES AND CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENSES
AND APPLICATION OF PENALTIES
Grave offense is usually punishable by dismissal for your first
Less grave offense carries a penalty of suspension for one month
and one day to six months. The second time you commit the same
offense, you will be dismissed from the service.
Light offense is meted the penalty of reprimand, suspension for
one to thirty days and dismissal for the first, second, and third
Like penalties will be imposed for light offenses. This means that
if you are penalized by reprimand for the first offense of
gambling, the same penalty will be imposed on Juan if the latter
is charged and found guilty of the same infraction for the first
One penalty will be imposed in each case. “Each case” means one
administrative case which may involve one or more charges or
counts. Suppose you are charged with gross discourtesy in the
course of official duties, refusal to render overtime and violation of
reasonable office rules and regulations. These three offenses if
committed simultaneously constitute one administrative case. You
will be meted only one penalty for the three offenses.
Penalties that may be imposed in administrative cases are:
A Under Executive Order No. 292 and Sec. 22 Rule XIV of the Civil
Service Omnibus Rules
17. 2. Forced resignation
B. Under R.A. 6713
1. Administrative Penalties
a. fine not exceeding six months salary
18. b. suspension not exceeding one year
2. Criminal Penalties
a. fine not exceeding five thousand pesos
b. imprisonment not exceeding five years
c. imprisonment not exceeding five years and fine not exceeding
five thousand pesos
d. disqualification to hold public office
In deciding penalties to be imposed, mitigating and
aggravating circumstances may be considered. Hence,
aggravating circumstances are circumstances that make worse
or more severe the infraction of your offense. Mitigating
circumstances, on the other hand, are circumstances that make
less severe the infraction of your offense. In the previous
example cited (If you are charged with three offenses), You will
be charged with one administrative case for the three offenses
will be considered aggravating circumstances.
If you are found guilty of two or more charges or of two or more
counts, the penalty imposed should be that one corresponding
to the most serious charge or count and the rest may be
considered as aggravating circumstances. Again, in the
example cited above, the penalty to be imposed on you is the
penalty for less grave offense because gross discourtesy in the
course of official duties is a less grave
20. offense and the most serious charge against you. Violation of
reasonable office rules and regulations and refusal to render
overtime classified under light offenses. They will only be
considered aggravating circumstances to your other offense.
Mitigating circumstances include:
a. physical illness
b. good faith
c. length of service in the government
d. analogous circumstances
21. Aggravating circumstances include:
a. taking advantage of official position
b. taking undue advantage of subordinate
c. undue disclosure of confidential information
d. use of government property in the commission of offense
f. offense is committed during office hours and within the
premises of the working office or building
g. employment of fraudulent means to commit or conceal the
h. analogous circumstances
The disciplining authority may impose on you the penalty of
removal/dismissal from the service, forced resignation with or
without prejudice to benefits, demotion in rank, suspension for
not more than one year without pay, fine in an amount not
exceeding six months salary, transfer or reprimand.
The penalty or dismissal entails cancellation of your eligibility,
forfeiture of your leave credits and retirement benefits, and
disqualification for reemployment in the government service.
Dismissal does not preclude your criminal or civil liability.
The penalty of forced resignation entails your disqualification for
employment in the government service for at least one year.
However, it may or may not contain conditions concerning
forfeiture of your
23. leaves credits and retirement benefits, and disqualification for
your reemployment in a specific class of position.
The penalty of transfer, or demotion, or fine may be imposed on
you instead of suspension from one month and one day to one
year, except in case of fine which will not exceed six months.
The penalty of fine may be imposed instead of suspension from
one day to one month.
The penalty of reprimand whether given by the Civil Service
Commission or the head of department or agency is considered
a penalty. However, a warning or an admonition is not
considered a penalty.
Reprimand does not include any accessory penalty nor entail
the forfeiture of leave credits, retirement benefits and bonuses
that may be granted.
In meritorious cases and upon recommendation of the
Commission, the President may commute or remove
administrative penalties or disabilities imposed upon you in
disciplinary cases, subject to such terms and conditions as
he/she may impose in the interest of the service.
25. RECENT POLICIES ON ADMINISTRATIVE
OFFENSES AND APPLICATION OF PENALTIES
Among the most recent issuances on administrative
offenses and application of penalties that have wider application
and relevance to various agencies of the government are:
1. Attendance and Punctuality Pursuant to CSC Res. No. 970406, heads of agencies can promulgate their own internal rules
and regulations on attendance and punctuality so that you and
other employees can incur less absence and tardiness than the
frequency allowed, as discussed in the succeeding paragraphs.
26. Violations of the rules issued by heads of offices shall
constitute the offense of Violation of Reasonable Office Rules and
Regulations, punishable with reprimand on the first offense,
suspension for one (1) to thirty (30) days on the second, offense,
and dismissal on the third offense.
You will be considered habitually absent if you incur
unauthorized absences exceeding the allowable 2.5 days
monthly leave credit under the Leave Law for at least three
months in a semester or at least three consecutive months during
This means that the maximum number of months you can
exceed the 2.5 days monthly leave credit limit in a single
semester is two months to avoid being considered as an offender
or habitual absenteeism.
27. Absences exceeding 2.5 days per month backed by a
approved leave of absence do not constitute habitual absenteeism.
You will be considered habitually tardy if you incur tardiness,
regardless of the number of minutes, exceeding ten (10) times a
month for at least two (2) consecutive months during the year.
This means that if you have already been tardy twelve times in
a month in a semester, the maximum number of tardiness you will
incur for the succeeding month is only ten times so you will not be
considered habitually tardy. Further, you should not be late more
than ten times in the month of July if you already incurred ten times
or more tardiness in June of the same year.
28. 2. Nepotism is now a grave offense punishable by dismissal.
Nepotism or prohibited appointments made in favor of relatives
in government can be a ground for administrative disciplinary
action and criminal prosecution. As a grave offense, it is
punishable by dismissal from the service even for the first
Nepotism means appointing relatives and members of the
family within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity of the
appointing or recommending authority, or of the chief of the
bureau or office, or of the persons exercising immediate
supervision over the appointee. Original, transfer, reemployment and promotional appointments regardless of status
are subject to nepotism.
29. Exempted from the rules on nepotism are: (a) persons
employed in a confidential capacity; (b) teachers; (c) physicians
(d) members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
There are no restriction for a member of any family who,
after his or her appointment to any position in an office or
bureau, contracts marriage with someone in the same office or
bureau. Thus, both husband and wife may be employed or
30. 3. Sexual Harassment by another employee or officer now
constitutes a ground for disciplinary action. It is a grave offense
and subject to dismissal from the service.
Sexual harassment is one of series of incidents involving
unwelcome sex advance, requests for sexual favors or other
verbal or physical conduct of sexual nature, made directly,
indirectly and implied when: (1) such conduct might reasonably
be expected to cause insecurity discomfort, offense or
humiliation to another person or group; or
31. (2) submission to such conduct is made either implicitly or
explicitly a condition of employment, or any opportunity for
training or grant of scholarship; or (3) submission to rejection of
such conduct is used as a basis for any employment decision
(including, but not limited to, matters of promotion, raise in
salary, job security and benefits affecting the employee); or (4)
such conduct has the purpose or the effect of interfering with a
person’s work performance, or creating and intimidating,
hostile or offensive work environment.
You may be placed under preventive suspension while an
investigation is going on if the charge against you involves
dishonesty, oppression or grave misconduct or neglect in the
performance of duty, or if there are reasons to believe that you
are guilty of charges that warrant your removal from the service.
32. Preventive suspension is not a punishment for your
misconduct in office but considered a preventive measure. It is
not considered part of the actual penalty of suspension imposed
upon you, if found guilty.
You can be suspended for a period of not exceeding ninety
(90) days. After 90 days, you will be automatically reinstated
even if the investigation has not been terminated. But when the
delay in the disposition of the case is due to your fault,
negligence or your petition, the period of delay will not be
included in the accounting of the 90 calendar-day suspension.
33. ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS
The head of agency may initiate administrative proceedings
against a subordinate officer or employee like you upon sworn,
written statement/complaints of any other person.
The Commission, meanwhile has original jurisdiction over
all government officials and employees and can take disciplinary
action on all cases involving:
Complaints filed before it and those unacted upon by the
Civil service examination anomalies; and
Such other complaints requiring direct action in the interest of
justice. Administrative cases within the Commission’s jurisdiction
can also be filed with any of the Civil Service Regional Office
34. No action is taken on anonymous complaint, unless there is
obvious truth of merit to such allegations. Hence, you will not be
required to answer or comment on anonymous complaint.
The disciplining authority through the complainant’s sworn
statement determines if there is a prima facie case.
A prima facie case means that there is sufficient evidence
that you are probably guilty of an offense and if not refuted by
other evidence becomes conclusive that you are guilty.
If the disciplining authority does not find a prima facie
case, the complaint is dismissed.
35. If a prima facie case exists, the disciplining authority will notify
you of the charges against you. He can also issue a formal charge
If you have been formally charged, you will be directed to
answer such charges and you will be informed of your right under
existing laws and rules. Preliminary investigation is an inquiry or
proceeding to submit your affidavit and counter affidavits as well as
those of your witness(es).
You as a respondent, is given by the disciplining authority not
less than 72 hours or three days to submit an answer to the charges.
The answer must be in writing and under oath. Supporting
documents and sworn statements may also be submitted. If your
answer is satisfactory, the disciplining authority will dismiss your
36. In your answer, you will indicate whether or not you elect a
formal investigation of the case.
Although you do not request a formal investigation, one
should nevertheless be conducted by the disciplining authority
when the merits of the case cannot be decided judiciously
without conducting such investigation.
The investigation will be held not earlier than five days nor
later than ten days from the date of receipt of your answer. The
investigation will be completed within thirty (30) days from the
filing of the charges, unless the period is extended by the
Commission in meritorious cases.
37. You (and/or the either party) may avail of the services of a
counsel and may require the attendance of a witness or the
production of documents. You will make a request for the
issuance of the necessary subpoena or subpoena duces tecum at
least three (3) days before the scheduled hearing.
The investigation will be conducted to find out the truth,
without necessarily adhering to technical rules applicable in
judicial proceedings. It will be conducted by the disciplining
authority concerned or authorized representative.
The decision will be rendered by the disciplining authority
within thirty (30) days from the termination of the investigation
or receipt of the report of investigation, together with the
complete records of your case.
38. The report will be submitted within fifteen (15) days after the
conclusion of the formal investigation.
If you feel aggrieved by the decision of the disciplining
authority, you may file a petition with the agency for a
reconsideration of the decision. If still not satisfied with the
decision of the head of agency, you may file an appeal with the
Commission. However, the decision of head of agency is final if
the penalty imposed is suspension for not more than thirty (30)
days or fine not exceeding 30 days salary.
39. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION
Decisions of heads of departments, agencies and provinces,
cities, municipalities, and other instrumentalities imposing penalties
exceeding thirty days suspension or fine in an amount exceeding 30
days salary, may be appealed to the Civil Service Commission
within 15 days from receipt of a copy of the decision.
You will pay a fee at least Php 100 for an appeal filed with the
A motion for reconsideration may also be filed by the party
adversely affected by the decision of the Commission within 15 days
from receipt of the decision.
40. When your penalty is dismissal, it is executory only after the
confirmation by the Department Secretary concerned.
Final decisions or orders of the Civil Service Commission are
appealable to the Court of Appeals. Hence, if you are not satisfied
with the decision of the Commission, you may file an appeal by
filing a petition for review with the Court of Appeals within fifteen
(15) days from notice of final order or resolution.
The final decision of the CSC are immediately executory if no
petition for review is reasonably filed.
if you feel aggrieved with the decision of the Court of Appeals,
you may still go to the Supreme Court as final arbiter of your case.
41. DOCUMENT and FLOW PROCESS CHART
of ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS in DISCIPLINARY CASES
Filing of the complaint
Determining the existence of
a prima facie case
In case a prima facie
case exists, formal
charge shall be issued
If there is no prima facie
case exists, the case
shall be dismissed
42. Second Stage
Issuance of a formal charge
Filing of an answer
If the answer is
shall be conducted
If the answer is
satisfactory, the case
shall be dismissed
Issuance of a Preventive
43. Third Stage
Pre hearing conference
Conduct of formal investigation
Rendition of Decision
Motion for reconsideration
on agency’s decision is filed
Dismissal of the case
Appeal on the agency’s
decision is filed with the
Motion for reconsideration
of the Commission’s decision
is filed with the Commission
Petition for review is filed
with the Court of Appeals,
If still dissatisfied with the