LGU-Baguio appeals for continuity of 31 Sanggunian coterminous staff


The City Government of Baguio, through the City Human Resource Management Office (CHRMO), will appeal to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) Regional Office for the continuity of the appointments of 31 coterminous employees of the Sangguniang Panlungsod ng Baguio.
On September 5, 2022, the CSC Field Office- Baguio wrote to Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan informing the Baguio City Council that the 31 coterminous positions, mostly Administrative Aide III and Administrative Aide VI positions under the offices of the city vice mayor and the city councilors, had been invalidated pursuant to a CSC memorandum circular issued in 2011.
To help thresh out the problem, the Baguio City Council summoned Atty. Augustin Laban III, head of the CHRMO, and CSC representatives to its regular session last September 12, 2022.
Laban explained that these 31 positions were considered coterminous under CSC MC. No. 22 s. 2007. However, in 2011, there was a change in the policy of the CSC wherein civil service positions considered as coterminous were redefined.
Atty. Elenita Ugay, lawyer of the CSC Cordillera Administrative Region Regional Office, further clarified that these 31 coterminous positions are using career service position titles, thus the invalidation.
According to Section 107(f) Rule XI of the Omnibus Rules on Appointments and Other Human Resource Actions, as Amended (ORAOHRA), an appointment shall be disapproved or invalidated if the appointment has been issued in violation of existing civil service laws, rules, and regulations.
Under CSC MC No. 12, s. 2011 (Revised Guidelines on the Determination of Positions in the Local Government Units as Primarily Confidential), positions in the offices of the provincial governor and vice governor, city/municipal mayor or vice mayor, or Sangguniang Panlalawigan/Panlungsod/Bayan with position titles belonging to the career service whose duties do not require the highest degree of trust and confidence but were classified as primarily confidential under CSC MC No. 22 s. 2007 shall be reverted to their career service classification.
The memorandum circular also stated that the affected employees may, at the discretion of the appointing authority (in this case, the Baguio City Vice Mayor), be reappointed to the said reverted positions under permanent status if found qualified and subject to the compliance with requirements set forth under the existing civil service laws, rules, and regulations.
Section 108 of the ORAOHRA provides that “when an appointment is disapproved/invalidated, the services of the appointee shall be terminated after 15 days from receipt of the letter/decision disapproving/invalidating the appointment, unless a motion for reconsideration or appeal is seasonably filed.”
During the forum, Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda pointed out that appointing the affected coterminous employees to permanent plantilla positions is not advisable since the terms of the council members end every after three years.
“For example, after my three-year term, my staff may not be acceptable to the next councilor. But if it is a permanent plantilla item, my staff cannot be removed without just cause. This is our predicament,” Tabanda said.
Since CSC MC No. 12 provides that highly confidential positions are only for the the mayor and the vice mayor, Tabanda suggested that one possible remedy is to come up with an arrangement where the affected coterminous employees are assigned to the vice mayor who will then designate the same to the respective offices of the councilors.
According to Laban, modifying the employment status of these 31 positions to casual status may also be possible in accordance with the rules prescribed by the 2017 ORAOHRA.
Ugay explained that there is a status quo on the issue and that the decision of the office is not yet final and executory, thus an appeal by the affected LGU may be filed to the regional office.
“Once appealed, these employees whose appointments were disapproved will stay with you,” Ugay promised.
She said that the same issue is also being experienced by the Local Government of Manila and that the CSC MC No. 12, s. 2011 is already being reviewed for amendment to address the issue.
According to her, the amendment of the said issuance will ultimately prevent the problem from recurring. **Jordan G. Habbiling


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