Palawan Governor Dennis Socrates during the opening of the 123rd Civil Service Anniversary in the province. (Photo from the Provincial Information Office of Palawan)

Employees of the Palawan provincial government kicked off a series of events Monday in commemoration of the 123rd Philippine Civil Service Anniversary in a display of unity and celebration.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Transforming Public Service in the Next Decade: Honing Agile and Future-Ready Servant-Heroes.”

It began with a team parade that started at the Palawan Heritage Center (PHC), proceeded to the Fernandez Gate Entrance, and circled back to the Centennial Pavilion.

They were divided into Blue, Yellow, White, and Green teams, each led by officials of the provincial government, department heads, and representatives of the Palawan Provincial Government Employees Association (PPGEA).

Governor Dennis Socrates in his message during the event, stressed the significance of the government as a representation of the people and society.

He lauded civil servants and underlined the value of their roles in upholding the unity of the country.

“Gusto ko pong sabihin na you should be proud of being civil servants. Unang-una, ang gobyerno ay kailangan ng sambayanan, hindi ito imbento lamang ng kung sino, talagang bahagi ng ating kalikasan bilang tao na mamuhay sa lipunan at yung lipunan ay kailangan ng pagsasakatawan ng pagkakaisa ng mga mamamayan,” Governor Socrates said.

“Ito ay bahagi ng buod ng pagiging isang sambayanan, ang magkaroon ng isang pamahalaang magsasakatawan sa pagkakaisa ng sambayanan. Tayong lahat na kawani ng pamahalaan ay bahagi ng pamahalaan, bahagi rin tayo ng lahat ng gawain ng pamahalaan bagamat iba’t iba ang ating mga tungkuling alam nating bahagi tayo ng kahihiyan o bawat tagumpay ng pamahalaan,” he added.

Other speakers at the event included Provincial Administrator Atty. Jethro M. Palayon, CSC Field Office Director II Rowena M. Cunanan, and Vice Governor Leoncio N. Ola, who also serenaded the attendees with songs.

The program continued with the Roll Call of Participating Teams led by PGDH (Provincial Human Resource Management Officer) Rolando B. Buñi and PPGEA President Leonila R. Baga. The Oath of Sportsmanship was administered by Sports Development Officer IV Silvanny Delight Q. Gastanes of the Provincial Sports Division.

The festivities culminated with the Ceremonial Whistle, officiated by Socrates, marking the beginning of various sports tournaments for the provincial government employees. These tournaments include basketball, volleyball, badminton, table tennis, and board games.

The upcoming events to look forward to include the Kasalan sa Kapitolyo, the Gabi ng Parangal, Plant Run, various training sessions, and the highly anticipated Search for Mr. and Ms. Civil Service 2023, and Dance Competition.

Director Cunanan provided insights into the theme of this year’s Civil Service Month celebration, emphasizing the role of the Human Resource Management Office (HRMO) in nurturing government workers in the new normal, post-pandemic era. She highlighted the importance of workplace recreation in coping with the increasing responsibilities faced by government employees.

“Ito pong tema ay nakasandal sa mga kakayahan ng mga HRMO na makabuo ng mahuhusay at mapagkakatiwalaang manggagawa ng pamahalaan sa bagong normal o sa pagtatapos ng pandemya at sa atin pong patuloy na paglaban sa mga hamon para makabalik ang sigla ng ating ekonomiya na nabawasan po at halos nawala the past 3 years because of COVID-19,” said Cunanan.

“Mas dumami ang responsibilidad ng bawat empleyado ng pamahalaan and as the challenge increases, the need to release also increases. Thus, the need to promote workplace recreation and alleviate the pressures of our work,” she added.

The sports tournaments and activities, which commenced on September 11 are expected to promote employee health and foster camaraderie for more effective performance of their duties and services to the community.