MALACAÑANG is willing to open its doors for the Department of Health (DOH) to identify who among its personnel has mental health problems.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita on his weekly briefing Wednesday urged the DOH to come up with the list of the names of government workers who they found out to have mental disorders including in Malacañang, which is considered as the highest government office in the land.

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Ermita made this request after a DOH survey conducted in 2007 was released in a daily newspaper showing that 30 percent or three out of 10 government workers have mental problems mostly depression and anxiety disorder.

“We would ask the DOH to give the names of all agencies, which means including Malacañang… That is something that we have to look into,” he said.

The Palace official directed newly-appointed Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral to provide agencies concerned with the list of personnel they have discovered to have mental illness so they could act appropriately.

“That is important. Imagine if the position of the personnel is important? He may have done something wrong,” Ermita said.

Despite the concern, he said this issue should not cause much alarm to the government offices.

He said it is imperative for the DOH to be specific on their qualifications of mental problem, adding that somebody who has depression does not necessarily mean he has a mental disorder.

“It is very general. I don’t even know the qualification of mental problem. Maybe they mean improper attitude, or sense of depression, we don’t know. We still have to know that.”

The executive secretary shared that working in government office needs a lot of sacrifice.

He said that although it is not a high paying job, people in the government prefers public service over good pay.  “There is satisfaction in government working… It is more the desire to render public service.”

He cited the work of soldiers, police, and teachers whose jobs do not give high pay yet noble and rewarding. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)