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CSC Stress Management Interview 2014 Community

Interview with Director Ma. Luisa Salonga Agamata, Director IV in the Public
Assistance and Information Office of the Civil Service Commission
Stress Management in Government
Director Ma. Luisa Salonga Agamata discusses sources of stress in government
offices as well as means to address the same, including Civil Service Commission
programs and initiatives.
Sources of stress in government offices depend on the circumstances. Usually,
common stressors originate from the office set up a stressful work environment,
the physical arrangement of the office (i.e. lack of proper lighting, cramped office
spaces, etc.), as well as inadequate supplies and defective office equipment.
Another stressor is the expectation that comes with the job description. Government
employees are subject to the same pressure to perform their duties in an
exceptional manner, just like their counterparts in the private sector.
For frontline civil servants such as those in the Social Security System (SSS),
National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Land Transportation Office (LTO), a common
source of stress is the heavy human traffic that accompany their service, not to
mention irate clients.
Another stressor is employee fitness. If the person is not healthy and is faced with
different kinds of stressors, these may trigger physiological manifestations of stress
such as various bodily pains, tension headaches, and ultimately, illness that can
incapacitate an employee from working.
Aside from the workplace, government employees may also face stress at home,
especially if their respective families or house mates do not understand the
pressure arising from their jobs. Our civil servants must also have a good support
system at home in order to better cope with work-related stress.
To aid civil servants in managing various stressors, the Civil Service Commission
through our field offices deals with the human resources (HR) offices of government
agencies to look for ways to mitigate stress in the workplace. The CSC has a
program called Supervisory Development, wherein stress management is taken
up by participating supervisors, which the latter will then cascade to their
subordinates.
Another program being implemented for stress management and employee welfare
is the Great Filipino Workout, which was started in 1992, and reiterated by the
CSC through a memorandum dated March 7, 2011. This directs government
agencies to allow their employees on a voluntary basis to engage in physical
exercise and sports for a specified duration of time each week.
Stress management is actually highly personalized. It can be done through simple
things, such as listening to music, redecorating ones office, as well as engaging in
extracurricular activities and hobbies. I advise directors and supervisors to be
creative on ways to cope with stress, supplementing the CSCs own initiatives.