BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya: Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate of Bayan Muna party-list has filed a resolution, which seeks to investigate the alleged illegal dismissal of some 180 permanent and promoted employees of the provincial government here.
Zarate’s House Resolution (HR) 811 is asking the Committees on Civil Service and Professional Regulation and Local Government to look into the case of government employees who claim they were “arbitrarily dismissed” from their posts.
Gov. Ruth Padilla, on the other hand, claimed that the dismissed employees were issued appointments and promotions “in violation of the local government code as well as the Civil Service laws, rules and regulations.
Padilla’s Executive Order 3, which she issued a day after assuming the governorship has the effect of “recalling, withdrawing and revoking” the affected employees’ appointments and promotions.
The governor also claimed that the appointments of the subject employees under the administration of then governor Luisa Cuaresma were made without the authorized personnel selection board (PSB).
“The appointments and promotions of the affected employees also violated the Omnibus Election Code as these were made during the prohibitory period of 45 days prior to last year’s May 13 elections,” Padilla said.
In his February 12 resolution, however, Zarate said that the permanent appointments and promotions of these workers, some of whom have been serving the provincial government for more than ten years, were revoked “on political grounds.”
HR 811 states: “The provincial government did not even consider their length of service in the government. Apparently, they were dismissed on political grounds as they were appointed or promoted during the term of the previous governor.”
Zarate said that such a practice of local chief executives of removing permanent or casual employees because of their political affiliations only cause greater harm to the workers than to their predecessors who appointed them.
He also said that these acts do not augur well to the professionalization of civil services, which is the back- bone of the government bureaucracy.
The incumbent governor is the wife of Rep. Carlos Padilla who is now in his third and last term as the lone representative of the province of Nueva Vizcaya. He defeated Cuaresma who was finishing her third and last term as governor of the province.
In a related development, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) for Region 2 has ordered Padilla to reinstate the dismissed employees stating that the local chief executive has no authority to revoke such appointment.
In a 20-page decision in October, Bienvenido Ragucos, CSC director for Region 2, said that the local chief executive has “overstepped her authority . . . a power which, by clear mandate of the law, resides in the Commission.”
The CSC decision has also ordered Padilla to pay the back wages of the affected employees based on their salaries when they were “illegally dismissed” from the government service
Also to the contrary, the CSC decision said in its findings that there was an existing selection board during the previous administration screening and deliberating the appointments and promotions of the said employees.
With regard to the appointments and promotions during the election period which are banned, the CSC said that unless there is an urgent need for it so as not to prejudice the public or endanger public safety, such circumstances is best left to the lawful and sound exercise of discretion of the then appointing authority.
“[The Civil Service Commission] cannot replace its judgment to that of former governor Cuaresma who, concededly, is more competent to determine the urgent needs of her province during her term. [It] cannot therefore, supplant her judgment in the absence of a clear showing that bad faith attended the issuance of said appointments,” the CSC said.