Philippines mayor orders government workers to smile – or else

Philippines mayor orders government workers to smile – or else

Shafaq News/ A mayor in the Philippines has ordered all local government workers and officials to smile while serving the public – and threatened disciplinary action against those who fail to comply.

Aristotle “Aris” L Aguirre, the mayor of Mulanay municipality in Quezon, has sought to tackle an apparent problem of low spirits among staff by signing an executive order adopting a “smile policy”.

The policy will be one of the flagship programmes of the administration, the order said, and will “give sincerity by showing a feeling of calmness and friendly atmosphere”.

It states that there should be “strict compliance” with the policy among “all departments, offices, units and sections” while serving the public, and that human resources would provide further details, including how staff would be monitored.

“Any employee/official who is found through appropriate action to have violated this order shall be a sufficient ground for administrative liabilities with reference to existing laws, policies, guidelines, rules and regulations,” said the order, which was dated 5 July.

Aguirre is not the only official insisting members of local government be more cheerful. Kevin Anarna, recently elected mayor of Silang, south of Manila, has also instructed employees not to frown, promising a new style of service.

“First of all, it should be: when you go to the municipal hall today, all the employees are smiling. Frowning is prohibited,” Anarna said in a speech, reported by ABS-CBN. “Some of our employees, I don’t know if they were conceived out of resentment,” he said.

Anarna also said officials and employees would wear white, and not colours that were associated with different political camps, to ensure all members of the public felt equally welcome, following divisive elections. “White is our colour, so there will be no bias and we are one,” he said.

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