The Philippine Civil Service was established in 1900 by the Second Philippine Commission during the American colonial rule.
Under the leadership of American William Howard Taft, the Second Philippine Commission passed a law, Public Law No. 5, on the establishment of a system to secure an efficient civil service in the country on March 16, 1900.
On September 19, 1900, Act No. 5 entitled “An Act for the Establishment and Maintenance of an Efficient and Honest Civil Service in the Philippines” was issued. Also known as the Civil Service Act, this started the concept of appointments and promotions in the government being made according to merit. It established a three-member body known as the Philippine Civil Service Board composed of a Chairman, Secretary, and Chief Examiner.
The Board was reorganized into a Bureau in 1905. In 1959, Republic Act No. 2260, also known as the Civil Service Act of 1959, amended and revised the laws relative to the Philippine Civil Service. It converted the Bureau to Civil Service Commission (CSC) with department status. In 1973, Presidential Decree No. 807 redefined the role of the CSC and it became a constitutional Commission.
The Philippine Civil Service has undergone a great number of reforms in terms of structure, size, leadership, position classification, and pay scheme, among others, under the management and regulation of the CSC. Presently, CSC’s mandate is based on Executive Order No. 292 or the Revised Administrative Code of 1987.
Through the years, the CSC has initiated various programs and issued policies towards building a highly competent, credible, and motivated bureaucracy. Its latest agenda is to elevate itself as “Asia’s leading center of excellence for strategic human resource and organization development by 2030” and to make a lingkod bayani out of every civil servant. “Lingkod bayani” is a play on the terms “lingkod bayan” (public servant) and “bayani” (hero), thus associating state workers with their capacity to be heroes in their own right. The CSC manages and develops the bureaucracy’s most important resource—its people—through five HR initiatives:
Hiring of high-performing, competent, and credible civil servants through the Competency-Based Recruitment and Qualification Standards (CBRQS);
Performance review and appraisal through the Strategic Performance Management System (SPMS);
Coaching to improve employee performance, as well as develop leadership skills of supervisors and managers;
Learning and Development
Direct training and personnel development interventions in the areas of governance and leadership, human resource and organizational development, public service reforms, and values and culture building through the Civil Service Institute; and
Accreditation of agencies for the establishment of their own human resource management systems and standards through the Program to Institutionalize Meritocracy and Excellence in Human Resource Management (PRIME-HRM).
The CSC is led by Chairman Francisco T. Duque III, Commissioner Robert S. Martinez, and Commissioner Nieves L. Osorio.