Change at OCNHS no matter how uncomfortable and painful must take its course: A commentary
Anchor for Allvoices
The use of computer machines in information and communication technology (ICT) has revolutionized work settings in both public and private organizations and continues to do so in almost every facet. It became and still a great challenge to initiate and to undertake changes and innovations in response to computerization particularly in logbook and Form 48 based “Daily Time Record” which is the bread and butter for both public/private officer and employee.
In view of this, “Section 1, Article Xl of the 1987 Philippine Constitution which declares that a public office is a public trust and all 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, and to Administrative Order No. 255 issued on 30 January 2009 by the President directing all heads of agencies to adopt and implement a Moral Renewal Program, the following Rules are hereby issued for the guidance and compliance by all concerned,” as provided and contained in the “CODE OF CONDUCT FOR THE OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE NATIONAL WAGES AND PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION (NWPC).”
Allow this writer to delimit the discussion to RULE IX - Attendance, Section 1. Daily Attendance a) All officers and employees except for presidential appointees and their assigned drivers shall be required to use the swipe machine and/or Bundy clock, where applicable, to record their daily attendance (i.e. work-in and work-out, lunch-out and lunch-in). (Office Order No. 41, s.2002) Presidential appointees need not swipe or punch in, but attendance and all absences of such officers must be recorded. (Sec.3, Rule XVII, Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of EO 292) b) Employees authorized to go out on official business (OB) must record their time of departure and time or return using the swipe machine (i.e. OB-out and OB-in). “Direct” and/or “Not Coming Back” OB may be allowed in certain cases upon the discretion of the employee’s immediate supervisor. (Office Order No. 41, s.2002)
Let it be recalled that the Administration of the Olongapo City National High School started to computerize the Daily Time Record (DTR) of its teaching and non teaching personnel as early as September, 2005. It banked on the use of a computer based swipe machine which lasted for only a few months then, it was stopped and reverted to the traditional use of logbook and Form 48.
After about seven years, once again, the School Administration ventured on the computerization of its DTR using “Biometrics machine” which started among the department heads and non teaching employees on June 01, 2012. It was then, a welcomed innovation.
The teaching force started to use the biometrics machine for their Daily Time Record on July 01, 2012. There was no need to use pen and paper and done with great speed and accuracy. It was observed that the innovation divided the faculty. The great majority understood and appreciated its value and accepted without reservations.
Likewise, based on most silent and loudest talks about it especially while in the queue waiting or one’s turn to time in and time out, there is a big minority that is displeased with it. They just take it as an object of verbal noise, jokes and laughter as it causes their pains and discomforts. This suggests that biometrics intruded into their comfort zones that they have had enjoyed for decades while within the rooster of the Olongapo City National High School.
Yes, the noise it has created is incessantly becoming irritating and displeasing to those who understood and welcomed such a great Change. However, there is an irony that those noisy while on the line are the ones silent, can’t talk and can’t put into writing a valid appeal or complaint about what they feel as they experienced going through the biometrics pad.
In view of the 1987 Constitution provision and Rule lX Section 1 of NWPC cited-above in this discussion, it is now time for the faculty of Olongapo City National High School to welcome and accept the use of biometrics in lieu of the traditional use of logbook and Form 48. Teachers are expected to take the lead in embracing an innovation as they take the lead as role models and exemplars to their students.
As an institutional requirement in compliance with existing and applicable Philippine laws, use of biometrics at OCNHS is now a part of its vital operation as it did with the obsolete logbook and Form 48 devices.
Change or innovation, no matter how popular or unpopular and sweepingly painful and uncomfortable must take its course for everyone to get used to it as time passes by.
At the city’s premier secondary school, biometrics means go to work before or exactly on time as well as get out of work on time equals discipline, honesty, efficiency, effectiveness and productivity. Congratulations to the School Administration for the successful implementation of such a long dreamed and awaited Change.