24 December 2020 - In a year-end message to civil servants, Civil Service Commission (CSC) Chairperson Alicia dela Rosa-Bala cited the service and sacrifice of frontliners who paid the ultimate price in the nation’s battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said, “It is heartbreaking to lose many public servant heroes in the nation’s fight against COVID-19, but please know that the Civil Service Commission joins the bereaved families in honoring these civil servants—they who put their lives on the line to save as many Filipinos as they can in performing their duties.”

Tunay kayong mga lingkod bayani,” she added. Lingkod bayani is a play on the terms lingkod bayan (public servant) and bayani (hero), used by the CSC to mean government workers who are akin to heroes by going above and beyond their duty.

Chairperson Bala also expressed gratitude to government workers for striving to rise above the challenges brought by the pandemic.

“2020 has been a tough year for all of us, but your unwavering dedication to serve the Filipino people amid adversities has given us inspiration, hope, and faith in God and in humanity. Taos-puso ang pasasalamat at saludo namin sa inyo, mga lingkod bayan!” she said.

‘Apat Dapat’

As most people have already begun spending the holidays, the CSC also reminded government workers to continue observing health protocols as the pandemic continues to afflict citizens worldwide.

“While it will be difficult to forego long-held traditions, let us remember that we are still in the middle of a public health crisis,” said Chairperson Bala.

The CSC chief echoed the call of the Health Professionals Alliance Against COVID-19 (HPAAC) to observe Apat Dapat if gatherings cannot be completely avoided. APAT is an acronym that stands for:

• A is for air circulation. There must be good air circulation in the room. Outdoor and open-air venues are preferred.
• P is for physical distancing. Maintain distance of at least one meter away from other people.
• A is for always wear a face mask and face shield.
• T is for time. Interaction should be for only thirty minutes or less.

HPAAC recommends that, at the very least, three out of these four guidelines should be met.

“We hope to see our civil servants welcoming the new year reinvigorated and with a healthy body and mind so we can serve the Filipino public at our best,” said Chairperson Bala.