Gifts for Public Servants

Gifts are commonplace in the commercial world. When holidays and birthdays come around, a business owner may send a bottle of wine or a fruit basket to a valued customer. But when your business's customer is the government, the gift rules are very different.
To ensure that every citizen can have complete confidence in the integrity of the government, each government official and employee is required to respect and adhere to the principles of ethical conduct set forth by law. Under the Code of Conduct And Ethical Standards For Public Officials and Employees (Republic Act 6713),   government officials and employees are generally prohibited from accepting gifts from any prohibited source or gifts that are offered because of their official position. However, the training module itself says that gift-giving is a part of our culture and refusing a gift may be taken as an insult by the gift-giver. Also, Filipinos are very appreciative of the good deeds done to them.
The Civil Service Commission has rules regulating the acceptance and disclosure of gifts and many cities and public agencies have policies. In RA 6713 there is a provision that you can accept gifts that are nominal or insignificant- which is 10% of your salary. But another question arises- what if they give 10% today and another 10% tomorrow and the next? Well in that case, the module points out the rule of the thumb: if you have doubts as to whether it is right to accept a gift, then you must not accept it at all.
But the monetary value of the gift is not the issue. A gift given to a public servant sends the wrong message to both the donor and recipient. From the public's perspective, the gift has the appearance of being given for one of two reasons: in exchange for a favor done or in anticipation of a favor.
In Case # 4, there are other ways to acknowledge a job well done. You can still express your thanks with a call, email or letter. Having a letter from a satisfied citizen in one's personnel file...