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Gov’t agencies: ‘Business as usual’ as Duterte orders courtesy resignation

By: Carmel Loise Matus, Michelle Joy L. Padayhag - Inquirer.net | August 23,2016 - 12:03 AM

Malacañang last night gave all presidential appointees, except those designated by President Rodrigo Duterte, seven days to submit their courtesy resignation.

In a memorandum circular signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, those who would refuse to comply with the order would face administrative charges.

The revamp is likely to affect all regional directors of government agencies in the executive branch who do not have any civil service eligibility, said the Civil Service Commission in Central Visayas (CSC-7).

In an interview yesterday, Prolaine Daclan, chief personnel specialist of CSC-7, explained that existing government rules and regulations mandate that presidential appointees from the earlier administration ought to be co-terminus with the appointing authority.

Those who are still sitting as regional directors appointed by president Benigno Aquino III should have already ended their term last June 30 though others may have stayed on — in a hold over capacity — until someone else assumes the position, Daclan said.

“Now that there is a new President, they will have to go if the President will identify them as sitting in a hold over capacity,” said Daclan.

Daclan, however, explained that CSC-7 could not determine who among the region’s current officials will be affected by the major shakeup as presidential appointees are not covered by the regional CSC office but by the Career Executive Service (CES) board, a CSC bureau based in Manila.

As for career officials or those holding civil service eligibility, Daclan said the law protects them from getting fired without cause.

“Presidential appointees that are civil service eligible are protected by law. Naa silay security of tenure. Dili sila pwede matangtang anytime but of course pwede sila ma-reassigned to some other regional office or some other agencies (They have security of tenure. They cannot be removed from office anytime but of course they can be reassigned to some other regional office or some other agencies),” Daclan said. 

The scenario may vary for every national government agency as in the case of CSC, said Daclan.

Citing CSC as an example, Daclan said that regional directors, assistant regional directors and field directors, according to her, are not presidential appointees but have fixed terms of office.
For the position of a regional director, she said that they have a fix term of seven years. 
Should there be a change in administration, the CSC regional director, which has a fixed term of seven years, cannot be removed from his post, said Daclan.
So, who will assume the post vacated by a regional director with a fixed term?
Daclan said that it will automatically be the next in rank or the assistant regional director who will sit in an acting capacity but with limited functions until the President chooses a replacement for the vacated position.

Central Visayas offices

Duterte’s media announcement of a major government shakeup on Sunday had yet to formally reach regional agencies based in Cebu City as of yesterday.

Leah Quintana, information officer of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Central Visayas (DSWD-7), told CEBU DAILY NEWS that they still have to receive an order if certain positions have been declared vacant in DSWD-7.

“We are business as usual,” she said.

Over at the Department of Education in Central Visayas (DepEd-7), information officer Amarrylis Villarmia said that among the agency’s presidential appointees are their regional director, assistant regional director, school superintendents and their assistants. 

But DepEd-7, Villarmia said, still have to receive formal orders on the shakeup.

Meanwhile, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB-7) regional director Ahmed Cuizon yesterday met with agency officials and employees in the region following the President’s declaration.

Cuizon, who was still awaiting a formal directive from their head office yesterday, ensured that operations in the region will not be hampered by the imminent shakeup as he called on the public to continue transacting business at LTFRB-7.

An estimated 100 people go to LTFRB’s regional office daily to process transport franchises and special permits.

Cuizon, an appointee of president Benigno Aquino III, said that he continued to report for work because he did not want to be charged for abandonment but stopped signing official documents as of yesterday.

“In case of my absence, there will be people who will take care especially on the signing of vouchers and checks so as not to disrupt operations,” Cuizon told CDN in his office yesterday.

Among those authorized to sign documents are Assistant Regional Director Reynaldo Elnar and Marites Plaza, the administrative officer of LTFRB-7.

“I still have accountability in the office. If and when there’s a new regional director, then I want to have a formal turn over with him,” Cuizon said.

Though he refused to sign any more official papers, Cuizon yesterday still responded to a request from the LTFRB Central Office to forward some documents needed for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Cebu.

Meanwhile, the head of LTO-7, Alita Pulga, will not be affected by the President’s order as she is an LTO employee who rose from the ranks appointed by the Civil Service Commission.

Besides Duterte’s appointees, also exempted from the President’s order to vacate their posts were career employees as stipulated by the civil service law, officials of state universities and colleges, the judiciary and government-owned and -controlled corporations.

Also saved from the revamp were officials of constitutional commissions and “those whose appointments are currently being processed.”

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TAGS: Civil Service Commission, Duterte, Malacañang, President Duterte, President Rodrigo Duterte

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