VILLANUEVA, Armando C.
Re: Coverage of Backsalaries
RESOLUTION NO. 000324
Armando C. Villanueva, Chief Personnel Specialist, Civil Service Commission Regional Office No. II, Tuguegarao, Cagayan, requests that he be paid back salaries including Representation and Transportation Allowance (RATA), Productivity Incentive Bonus (PIB) per General Appropriations Act Circular, yearly amelioration, clothing allowances and all other benefits and allowances. Villanueva's request is anchored on the Court of Appeals' (CA) decision reinstating him to his former position and ordering the payment of his back salaries not to exceed five (5) years.
Villanueva, in his request, alleges as follows:
"This refers to the implementation of the decision of the Court of Appeals in the case entitled Villanueva vs. CSC, CA-GR No. 37763, whereby the decision of the Honorable Civil Service Commission was reversed and I was totally exonerated from the charges against me. It may be noted that I was ordered reinstated to my former position with payment of back salaries for a period not exceeding 5 years. Specifically, the dispositive portion of the Court of Appeals decision dated January 31, 1997 reads:
'IN VIEW THEREFORE, the petition is hereby GIVEN DUE COURSE and is accordingly GRANTED. The assailed Resolutions Nos. 93-350 dated February 8, 1993 and 93-1540 dated April 22, 1993 issued by the respondent Civil Service Commission are SET ASIDE. Public respondent is ordered to reinstate petitioner to his former position and to pay his back salaries nor exceeding five (5) years.'
This was decided with finality by the Supreme Court in Resolution dated February 3, 1998 and became final and executory on February 23, 1998.
"IN THIS CONNECTION, may I now be paid in full my back salaries for the period as ordered by the decision and the 'back salaries' shall include the payment of my RATA, PIB per GAA Circular, yearly amelioration , clothing allowances and all allowances and other benefits that I should have received were it not for the unfortunate decision of the Honorable Commission to dismiss me from the service, as ruled by the Supreme Court in the leading case of Taņada vs. Legaspi, 13 SCRA 586 the dispositive portion of which reads:
'It must be emphasized that when order of dismissal from the service of a government employee has been declared null and void and reinstatement was later ordered, for all legal intents and purposes, he is considered as not having left his office and he is entitled to all the rights and priviliges that accrue to him by virtue of that Office he held'. Further, in a Resolution No. 94-5911 (sic) dated September 27, 1994, the Honorable Civil Service Commission directed the Municipal Mayor of Solana to pay the back wages of Saturnino Magera (sic). In said resolution, the Honorable Civil Service Commission said:
'WHEREFORE, foregoing premises considered, the Commission hereby resolves to rule that the Decision dated January 29, 1993 of MSPB ordering the reinstatement of Saturnino Magera (sic) with payment of backwages includes the payment of Loyalty pay, incentive pay, longevity pay, productivity pay, clothing allowance and salary differential. Accordingly, the Municipal Mayor Of Solana is directed to pay Magera (sic) the said benefits.'
"IN THE SAME MANNER AS THE HONORABLE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION ordered payment of the mentioned benefits to Saturnino Magera, may it now ORDER its finance officers to effect payment to the undersigned to the same benefits."
At this juncture, it is necessary to emphasize that in the light of the decision of the CA exonerating Villanueva, the latter is deemed entitled to all the rights and privileges thay may accrue to him during the period of his separation from the service. In Taņada vs. Legaspi (13 SCRA 566), the Supreme Court held that:
"When a government official or employee in the classified civil service has been illegally suspended or illegally dismissed and his reinstatement has latter been ordered, for all legal purposes he is entitled to all the rights and privileges that accrue to him by virtue of that office he held."
Thus, the sole issue to be resolved in this case is whether backsalaries Include RATA, PIB, Amelioration and other allowances.
As to his RATA - - In the case of Macabuhay vs. Manuel (101 SCRA 834) cited in CSC Resolution No. 980753 (re: Jerry R. Corpuz), the Supreme Court declared that:
"Well-settled is the rule that government employees who have illegally suspended or terminated, or whose suspension or separation have been declared in finality as null and void for lack of due process, are allowed to claim for backwages and other benefits due them during the entire duration of their illegal suspension or separation. This is so because an employee subject of illegal suspension or termination, is deemed never to have vacated or left his office and Is, therefore entitled to whatever accrued benefits pertaining to that office, including leave privileges and other pecuniary benefits reckoned from the date of his illegal suspension or dismissal up to the date of his actual reinstatement."
and in the case of Cesar Moscoso (CSC Resolution No. 96-2411), the Commission held that:
"x x x the term salary covers all compensation for services including RATA. This means withdrawal or non-payment of RATA results in reduction of salary which cannot be allowed under Civil Service Law and Rules unless the employee agrees thereto x x x".
Hence, in view of the foregoing pronouncements and since RATA is attached to the position of Villanueva, he is entitled to receive it during the period of his separation from the service.
As to PIB - - In the case of Felicidad R. Cezar (CSC Resolution No. 990731), the Commission ruled that:
"Relevant to the grant of Productivity Incentive Benefit (PIB), National Compensation Circular No. 73 and 73-A dated December 27, 1994 and March 1, 1995, respectively provide, among other things, as follows:
"3.1. The incentive pay shall be based on individual personnel productivity and performance as evaluated and determined by the heads of the respective offices/agencies in accordance with the policies and standards set by the Civil Service Commission.
"3.2. To be entitled to the PIB, officials/employees shall have at least a satisfactory performance rating for the two (2) semesters immediately preceding the year in which the incentive pay shall be released, and shall have contributed to the productivity of their office/agency as determined by the respective heads of agency.
"3.3. The amount of incentive that will be paid deserving officials/employees pursuant to this Circular may vary for each official/employee within an agency depending on their individual performance appraisal.
"Pursuant to the aforequoted provision of law, entitlement to the PIB is based on actual rendition of service. An employee must have at least a satisfactory rating for the two semesters immediately preceding the year in which the incentive pay is released. Moreover , he must have contributed to the productivity of his office. Under the present circumstances, Cezar was on leave without pay for the whole year of 1998. Undoubtedly, she did not render service during the said year, hence, there is no basis to grant her said benefit." (Emphasis supplied)
As to amelioration pay, worthy of stress is the ruling of the Commission in the aforementioned case, wherein it declared that:
"On the grant of Amelioration Assistance, Administrative Order No. 365 dated October 10, 1997 of the Office of the President, provides as follows:
'Section 1. All National Government Agencies, Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) and Government Financial Institutions (GFIs) and Local Government Units are hereby authorized to grant Amelioration Assistance in the maximum amount of Seven Thousand Two Hundred Pesos (7,200) each to their personnel, regardless of salary and appointment status, who have rendered at least four (4) months of service as of the payment of the said benefit except those serving under service contract. x x x'
On the basis of the aforequoted provisions of law, the grant of Year-end Bonus, Cash Gift and Amelioration Assistance is based on actual rendition of service. x x x " (Underscoring ours)
As to clothing allowance, the case of Jose Pujalte (CSC Resolution No. 97-4142) applies, where the Commission resolved that:
"However, as to laundry, clothing and other allowances which may be given by reason of actual occupation of the post, by their very nature, are not included in the computation of Pujalte"s backsalaries. The reason is not hard to find. He did not actually render service for the period of his illegal separation and that he did not incur such expenses." (Underscoring ours)
Thus, it cannot be over-emphasized that the Commission has consistently ruled on the basis of existing laws and Supreme Court decisions that the order of reinstatement necessarily includes the payment of backwages and RATA since the latter is attached to the position of the employee. However, other allowances and benefits may be granted only when the employee has rendered actual services to the government.
WHEREFORE, the Commission resolves to hold that Armando C. Villanueva is entitled to the payment of his backwages and RATA for a period not exceeding five years. However, he is not entitled to the payment of Productivity Incentive Bonus, Amelioration Assistance and Clothing Allowance.
Quezon City, February 2, 2000
CORAZON ALMA G. DE LEON
THELMA P. GAMINDE
JOSE F. ERESTAIN, JR.
ARIEL G. RONQUILLO