Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III pointed out that the Civil Service Commission's new statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) form for the year 2011 would have been an additional burden to more than 1.5 million government employees.
"For the sake of millions of government workers, we are glad that ordinary government employees have been spared from additional suffering from what would have been a draconian measure. Having deferred the use of the new SALN form, the CSC should now seek broader consultations with government employees who will be affected by changes to the SALN," said Pimentel.
Pimentel filed Senate Resolution 710, "RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE PROPER SENATE COMMITTEE TO INQUIRE, IN AID OF LEGISLATION, WHETHER THE NEW FORM FOR THE STATEMENT OF ASSETS, LIABILITIES AND NET WORTH (SALN) AS PRESCRIBED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION BEGINNING YEAR 2011 CONFORMS TO THE LAW."
The CSC deferred the use of the new statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) form for the year 2011, pending the Commission's further review of the different issues pertaining to the said form.
"We must be aware that public school teachers, policemen, health workers and other government workers are being racked by sky-rocketing prices of goods and services. It would be an unjust situation if they were further burdened by having to fill up a SALN form that exposes them to possible harassment and yet does not guarantee to be a deterrent to corruption," said Pimentel.
Pimentel added "that form needs the help of lawyers and accountants to fill up hence may mean additional expenses for the filer."
The senator from Mindanao says he received feedback that the CSC did not embark on consultations with government employees regarding the new SALN. Government employees, among them a professor from the University of the Philippines, described the new SALN as being overly complicated invasive, and opens them to possible harassment.
Pimentel points out the case of a public school teacher with a spouse who earns more than her and children who share payment for household expenses. He said in such a case, the teacher may inadvertently declare expenses higher than his income and also be compelled to report more assets than he can afford on his income.
On one hand, if he or she reports the income of his family who are not government employees, that would be an invasion of privacy. On the other hand, he or she would be open to being vulnerable to being charged with an anti-graft and corruption complaint.
"Even if the charges don't prosper, the ordinary government employee may suffer anxiety apart from possibly losing days at work and thereby, possibly lose some income," said Pimentel.