City Hall workers didn’t violate law, CSC says

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita November 17,2016 - 09:17 PM
Cebu City Councilor Margot Osmeña had to go outside the Cebu City Hall to explain to protesting workers why she and the BO-PK bloc had to defer Supplemental Budget 1 in this Oct. 7, 2015 file photo.

Cebu City Councilor Margot Osmeña had to go outside the Cebu City Hall to explain to protesting workers why she and the BO-PK bloc had to defer Supplemental Budget 1 in this Oct. 7, 2015 file photo.

Cebu City Hall employees didn’t violate any law when they held a rally to protest the City Council’s deferment of Supplemental Budget (SB) in October last year, the regional Civil Service Commission (CSC-7) said yesterday.

CSC acting director IV Editha Luzano dismissed the complaint filed by Ernesto Adolfo, a resident of Barangay Busay, against 25 City Hall officials and employees for lack of prima facie evidence.

Luzano ruled that the gathering of black arm band-wearing employees at City Hall’s grounds to denounce the council’s deferment of SB1 was not intended to cause work stoppage or disrupt services in City Hall.

“Otherwise, government employees would be deprived of their constitutional right to freedom of expression,” the decision read.

In his complaint, Adolfo alleged that the officials and employees violated Republic Act 6713 on the Norms of Conduct of Public Officials and Employees.

Adolfo accused them of violating a CSC resolution prohibiting mass actions by public officials and employees.

“(We) find that the acts sought to be punished hardly falls within the definition of a prohibited concerted activity or mass action. The complainant failed to prove that the activity resulted in work stoppage” the CSC said in its decision.

(CDN FILE PHOTO).

(CDN FILE PHOTO).

The CSC ruled that only 25 identified employees and officials were included in the complaint since the other people who attended the activity were only referred to as “garbage operators and crew of different barangays,” and “John Does and Jane Does.”

The 25 identified respondents were Eduardo Rama Jr., Brandon Matas, Jade Ponce, Eunice Meting, Monette Mabanag, Florence Balungcas, Noel Artes, Lina Santiago, Abbey Canturias, Katrina Mae Guantero and Jed Jimenez who were all under the Mayor’s Office.

Oscar Abordo and Joel Navasquez of the City Planning and Development Office; Collin Rossel, Caroline Campomanes and Teofilo Rosaroso of the Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP); Rolando Ardosa of the General Services Office; Joelito Baclayon of the City Agriculture Department and Raquel Arce of the City Markets Division were also identified.

Other respondents include Kenneth Carmelita Enriquez, Jonah John Rodriguez, Rainer Ramos Teresita Jesena, Flora Bering and Brenda Tumarao.

Sought for comment about the decision, Eduardo Rama Jr., now a city councilor, said he’s happy that his name has been cleared.

“I feel vindicated. I believe everyone has the right to voice out their grievances. That is a right protected by the constitution and is inherent. I’m glad the truth has prevailed,” he said.

The officials and employees held the rally on October 7 last year to lobby support on the approval of the proposed P2.8 billion SB1 which includes a P78 million allocation for the Productivity Enhancement Incentives (PEI) for City Hall employees.

Adolfo said in his complaint that he and his brother noticed employees outside City Hall and both the DWUP and Burial Assistance offices were unmanned.

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TAGS: budget, Busay, City hall, City Hall Workers, Civil Service Commission, Civil Service Commission in Central Visayas, CSC-7, Editha Luzano, Norms of Conduct of Public Officials and Employees, PEI, prima facie, Productivity Enhancement Incentives, RA 6713, Republic Act 6713, SB, Supplemental Budget

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