The Civil Service Commission (CSC), in its Memorandum Circular No. 23, Series of 1998, promulgated the rules and guidelines on absenteeism and tardiness of public employees, to wit:
Any employee shall be considered habitually tardy if he incurs tardiness, regardless of the number of minutes, ten (10) times a month for at least two (2) months in a semester or at least two (2) consecutive months during the year.
It is clear from the facts that Calingasan has been habitually tardy. Consequently, as an employee of the judiciary, she failed to live up to the stringent standard of conduct demanded from everyone connected with the administration of justice, viz:
By being habitually tardy, these employees have fallen short of the stringent standard of conduct demanded from everyone connected with the administration of justice. By reason of the nature and functions of their office, officials and employees of the Judiciary must be role models in the faithful observance of the constitutional canon that public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives. Inherent in this mandate is the observance of prescribed office hours and the efficient use of every moment thereof for public service, if only to recompense the Government, and ultimately, the people who shoulder the cost of maintaining the Judiciary. Thus, to inspire public respect for the justice system, court officials and employees are at all times behooved to strictly observe official time. As punctuality is a virtue, absenteeism and tardiness are impermissible.
The excuses offered by respondent are not the kind that would justify her tardiness. We have previously held that moral obligations, the performance of household chores, traffic problems, health conditions, and domestic and financial concerns are not sufficient causes to excuse habitual tardiness.
Under Sec. 52 (C) (4), Rule VI of CSC Memorandum Circular No. 19, Series of 1999, habitual tardiness is penalized as follows:
First Offense – Reprimand
Second Offense – Suspension for 1-30 days
Third Offense – Dismissal from the service
Since this is the first offense of Calingasan, the proper sentence is a reprimand with a stern warning that a repetition of the same or a similar offense in the future will be dealt with more severely.
WHEREFORE, LARAINE. I. CALINGASAN, Court Stenographer II, Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna, is hereby REPRIMANDED for her habitual tardiness and WARNED that a repetition of the same or a similar offense will warrant the imposition of a more severe penalty.
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