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Agriculture employees decry ‘illegal’ dismissal

 

Several employees of the Department of Agriculture (DA) have filed before the Office of the President a formal complaint over their alleged arbitrary dismissal from service.

In the complaint addressed to President Rodrigo Duterte, Agriculture Undersecretary Waldo Reyes Carpio was accused of abusing his power by illegally terminating 10 contractual employees, who were assigned at the DA’s Farm-to-Market Road Development Program.

The complainants said they had a valid contract effective until December 2019.


“The termination was arbitrary and violative of rules under the existing labor code,” they said.

Agriculture Undersecretary Waldo Reyes Carpio

They also complained that their salaries were not paid.

“Aside from the abrupt dismissal, Undersecretary Carpio has committed grave abuse of authority by illegally transferring contractuals from other sections to replace them,” they added.

The complaint was filed by Marissa Aguilar, senior administrative assistant 1; Leslie Albano, project assistant 3; April Joy Ayson, administrative assistant 3; Mark Paul Baldeo, engineer 2; Norman Boloron, administrative assistant 5; Alberto Cachero, project assistant 3; Robin Christopher Cueva, project assistant 4; Jerry Gregorio, administrative assistant 6; William Inguito Jr., project assistant 4; and Rea Queen Migalbin, project assistant 4.

But Arvin Manauis, Carpio’s chief of staff, said the employees were given notices before their contracts were terminated.

“What we can say for now is we comply with all legal requirements in termination. They were given notices regarding their termination. They were given proper notices before they were terminated. They were not terminated abruptly. We gave them a 15-day notice,” Manauis added.

“As for the duration of the contract up to December of this year, the parties can terminate the contract, provided [there’s a] 15-day notice, which we complied,” he said.

CATHERINE S. VALENTE AND EIREENE JAIREE GOMEZ

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