To ensure a healthy and productive workforce, mental and physical fitness programs are needed to promote employee well-being—this was stressed by Civil Service Commission (CSC) Chairperson Karlo Nograles.

Under CSC Resolution No. 1901265 or the Guidelines on the Development of Mental Health Program (MHP) in the Public Sector promulgated on 23 October 2019, and circularized via CSC Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 4, s. 2020, government agencies are mandated to craft and implement a Mental Health Program to promote overall mental wellness and provide an inclusive, conducive, and supportive work environment for public officials and employees. Said resolution is anchored on Republic Act No. 11036 or the Mental Health Act of 2018.

From a model MHP created by the CSC, strategies to promote employee well-being include the conduct of activities such as physical fitness, teambuilding, regular stress management, organized peer counseling, support groups, and interest groups. There is also a need to organize continuing mental health awareness and education activities for the agency’s workforce.

The CSC further said that government employees identified with mental health issues should be provided with intervention, treatment, referral, and reintegration. In case of life-threatening situations or traumatic experience, work or non-work-related, debriefing interventions should be conducted. Government agencies are also tasked to integrate mental health in human resource development and management policies and programs.

“The CSC recognizes the importance of taking care of employees’ physical and mental wellness to effectively fulfill their duties,” said Chairperson Nograles during the recently-concluded CSC Mindanao Sportsfest held 8-10 February in Tagum City, Davao del Norte, which was participated in by CSC officials and employees from Mindanao. Commissioners Aileen Lourdes Lizada and Ryan Alvin Acosta also graced the event.

“This sports tournament intends to strengthen camaraderie, sportsmanship, and solidarity; and promote an active and healthy lifestyle among all CSC officials and employees. I am happy that you have this activity to manage your work-related stress through sports,” added Chairperson Nograles.

For the past years, the CSC has crafted policies and programs promoting physical and mental fitness for government workers. In 1992, the Commission has released MC No. 38 or the Physical and Mental Fitness Program for Government Personnel. In the succeeding years, additional circulars were published to reiterate the need to promote employee wellness.