CSC issues guidelines on quarantine of gov't workers due to COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines – The Civil Service Commission (CSC) has clarified that the 14-day self-quarantine of government employees who traveled to COVID-19 affected areas — either for personal or official reasons — would not be charged against their leave credits.
According to a memorandum dated Thursday and signed by CSC chairperson Alicia dela Rosa-Bala, the rule also applies to government workers like frontline personnel, health workers, and immigration officials who were advised to conduct self-quarantine due to high risks of contracting the COVID-19.
“Absence from work during the 14 calendar days prescribed period of observation, including those who were diagnosed with COVID-19 during the said period, shall not be deducted from their earned leave credits,” CSC’s Memorandum Circular No. 5 said.
“After the aforecited 14-day period has elapsed the official/ employee diagnosed with the COVID-19, their absences shall be charged from their earned sick leave credits,” CSC added.
Upon completion of the self-quarantine period, government workers are also required to present a medical certificate from health authorities, either from the government or private health facilities, that they are fit to report back to work.
But if the employee was confirmed to have been infected with the COVID-19, formerly known as the 2019 Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), then the medical certificate should come from the public health facility responsible for treating the patient.
COVID-19 has affected over 76,000 individuals, most of it coming from China where it originated. As of Friday morning, 2,244 individuals have died from the sickness, while 17,780 have recovered from it.
In the Philippines, only three cases have been identified, but the Department of Health is still monitoring over 500 patients under investigation after manifesting symptoms and after being in close contact with possible COVID-19 patients.
Of the three confirmed cases, one has already left the Philippines, one has been discharged, and one died due to severe pneumonia.
However, CSC reminded government employees who are taking care of relatives who acquired the disease that their self-quarantine period would be charged against their leave credits.
“Absence from work during the 14 calendar days prescribed period of observation and treatment shall be charged against their earned sick leave credits,” CSC noted.
CSC also clarified that if in case the government worker has used up all his or her sick leave credits, they can use the remaining vacation leaves instead, in accordance with Section 56 of the Omnibus Rules on Leave.
But if both sick and vacation leaves have been consumed, the employee is allowed to go on leave without pay.