By: Rey Anthony Chiu
But, realities tell of several government officials who may not necessarily have that quality time, in the service of men and country.
For them who are on distant assignments from their residences, Christmas and such supposed to be get together holidays can be that of a scourge.
Feeling for these workers and seeing the need to find a happy and healthy compromise, the Central Visayas Regional Development council agrees with other peace councils in the country when they push for a presidential approval of granting visitation privileges to third level government officials.
By third level, the beneficiaries are above division chiefs that exercise managerial positions like under secretaries, assistant secretaries, bureau director and assistant director, regional director, assistant regional director, department service chief and other positions defined by the Career Service Board.
In its effort to be of help and minimize the adverse effects of absentee parenthood by third level government officials, the RDC here believes these officials should be granted visitation privileges of at least 2 working days per month, excluding travel time.
If acted upon positively, the visitation privileges come with transportation expenses: a round trip transportation expense paid by the office, but without the usual per diems.
In its draft administrative order presented during its past meeting, the Visayas RDC cites section 1 article 15 of the Philippine Constitution which states that the state recognizes the Filipino family as the foundation of the nation.
The council also added that the state shall strengthen the family’s solidarity and actively promote its total development.
The council also argues that the state must, by public policy, cherish and protect the family as a basic social institution, citing Article 149 of Executive Order 209 of the Family Code.
Because of this, family relations then are governed by law and no custom, practice or agreement which destroys the family shall be recognized or given effect, the council members said
In support of the goal of National Decade Plan for the Filipino Family, to foster a family-friendly environment, promote strong family ties among its officials and employees to promote efficiency and improve morale, the council has officially asked President Benigno S. Aquino to authorize the granting of family visit privileges to third level officials.
To be covered then, are third level officials assigned to an official station outside the region where his family is permanently residing. (30)