For wearing face mask at work, film council’s Liza Diño urged to be professional

July 5, 2018 - 12:27 PM
Film Development Council of the Philippines chair Liza Diño wears a face mask at work in a goofy photo she posted. (Facebook/Liza Diño-Seguerra)

(Updated July 6, 9 p.m.) Liza Diño, chair of the Film Development Council of the Philippines, posted a photo of herself wearing a moisturizing face mask while apparently at work.

It might have been an amusing shot, but not all Filipinos—such as Twitter user @MiaMagdalena—on social media found it funny.

Diño, an appointed official, was accused of being “unprofessional” for wearing a distracting beauty product while on official duty.

Countering the criticisms, Diño said it was just a “staged photo” and asked the user to visit her Facebook account.

Her account showed the picture of her wearing a face mask with the word “multitasking” enclosed in quotation marks.

Another picture suggested that while it’s a staged scenario, the meeting among the FDCP staff actually happened. Diño shared the hashtag “#matiramatibay” while two of her staff members appeared to be serious in manner.

Twitter user @RaqsInABox explained that Diño wanted “to humor her staff” at that time since “they were working late on a project,” adding that the pictures were taken at 2 in the morning.

The FDCP chair, however, shared the pictures on 1:23 and 1:31 a.m.

Despite the explanation, @MiaMagdalena remained firm in her stance and said that what the FDCP chair did was unbecoming of someone with her position. She said:

“You were working. You were goofing off. You posted it publicly. You are head of the FDCP. You work for us, the People.”

“There are those of us (who are) not impressed by this particular stunt. These thoughts are based on the photos and captions.”

Others agreed with @MiaMagdalena. One @AltPCOOSec said, “This is a very Mocha Uson disclaimer. However, when you’re a government official, you signed up to represent the office you hold at all times. It may not be fair, but no one said it is easy.”

@Hoeccount added, “Hija! Public figure ka! Umayos ayos ka sa mga pino-post mo sa social media. Hindi magandang halimbawa ito sa mga susunod sa yapak mo.”

@My_ra commented, “Very unprofessional, reminds me of a bank manager putting makeup while talking to me, feeling ko nabastos ako, I reported her.”

Even Sen. Ping Lacson sardonically commented on the pictures.

Diño’s response

Following the criticism, the FDCP chair issued a statement aiming to “clarify some assumptions circulating online.”

She said the image was not a stolen shot during a meeting, but one that was staged by her after the 16-hour workday was concluded, including such meeting.

“So we can end on a happy note, I put on a facial mask (I brought home masks for everyone from my vacation) to humor them (’cause it isn’t illegal to try to poke fun at yourself once in a while) then took it off right after the shot was taken.

(Imagine how hard it would have been to sit through hours-long discussions with that thing on my face.)”

She said she regrets that sweeping generalizations of her character have affected her agency and those who work for it.

“However you want to frame the issue, you will not be able to deny the work we do,” Diño added.

How officials should conduct themselves 

Government officials should adhere to certain behaviors as stated in RA 6713 or the “Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees” at all times.

Section 4 of RA 6713 indicates that officials should conduct themselves as professionals at all times. They are supposed to enact their duties in “the highest degree of excellence, professionalism, intelligence and skill.”

They are expected to perform their duties with “utmost devotion and dedication.”

In addition, they are supposed to “uphold the public interest over and above personal interest.” All of their resources are expected to be used “efficiently, effectively, honestly and economically, particularly to avoid wastage in public funds and revenues.”