BAYRON, Lucilo R.
Re: Designation of Executive
Member of the Personnel Selection Board
RESOLUTION NO. 001067
Mayor Edward S. Hagedorn, Puerto Princesa City, requested the Commission to render its opinion relative to the action of Director II Nilo C. Mercado, Civil Service Commission Regional Office (CSCRO) No. IV, Palawan Field Office, in questioning the validity of his Office Order No. 85, s. 1999, which designated Lucilo R. Bayron, Executive Assistant VI, as his official representative to the Personnel Selection Board (PSB). The said Office Order of the City Mayor was objected to by Director Mercado in his letter dated May 31, 1999 alleging that the same is not in accordance with the Civil Service Law and Rules, specifically Section 15 of CSC Memorandum Circular No. 40, s. 1998.
The subject letter of Director Mercado reads, as follows:
"This refers to the designation of Mr. Lucilo R. Bayron as your official representative to the Personnel Selection Board (PSB) as contained in your Office Order No. 85, s. 1999.
"Please be inform that this is not in accordance with the Civil Service Law and Rules.
"Pursuant to MC No. 40, s. 1998, Section 15, provides:
'Section 15. No consultant, contractual or non-career employee shall be designated to position exercising control or supervision over regular and career personnel.'
"In this regard, may we request for the amendment/correction of your Office Order No. 85, s. 1999. Furthermore, may we request that the appointment papers of the newly hired personnel bearing the signature of Mr. Bayron as the Chairman of the PSB be recalled for corrective measure. We will coordinate with your Personnel Department on the action/s to be undertaken."
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In his request, City Mayor Hagedorn alleged, among other things, the following:
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"As my official representative to our Personnel Selection Board (PSB), Mr. Bayron simply "fills-I" and in my behalf during its sessions and/or meetings, since it is physically impossible for me to be present in all its sessions and activities in view of my numerous functions and responsibilities. Moreover, as my official representative, he does not exercise control nor supervision over regular and career personnel since the PSB as a selection board or screening committee has no permanent or regular employees to speak of. At best, it is but 'temporary' body the membership of which is at the political discretion of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, which was given by law the power to determine its members through a Resolution (Section 80 [c], Local Government Code). Even secretariat work is not supervised by my official representative, as this is considered part of the ministerial duties of our Human Resources and Management Office. Hence, the situation being contemplated in the aforementioned memorandum circulars (ie., protracted disputes in the workplace and demoralization among regular employees) is simply not present.
"For purposes clarifying this issue however, I deemed it best to consult your good office regarding this matter. Your early reply on my request for a legal opinion would be most appreciated. It would not only facilitate the early resolution of this issue, it would also speed up the early disposition of all personnel actions in our agency which require the recommendation of the Personnel Selection Board."
As culled from the records, on February 11, 1999, Mayor Edward S. Hagedorn of Puerto Princesa City, issued Office Order No. 85, s. 1999, designating Mr. Lucilo R. Bayron, Executive Assistant VI, Office of the City Mayor, as his official representative to the Personnel Selection Board. However, in a letter dated May 31, 1999, Director II Nilo C. Mercado, Civil Service Commission Regional Office (CSCRO) No. IV, Palawan Field Office, requested the City Mayor to amend/correct the instant Office Order in view of the fact that Mr. Bayron is non-career employee, and consequently, he cannot be designated to positons "exercising control or supervision over regular employees". Thus, he opined that the office order is not in accordance with the Civil Service Law and Rules, specifically Section 15 of CSC Memorandum Circular No. 40, s. 1998.
Hence, Mayor Hagedorn requests the Commission to render its legal opinion on the matter relative to the action of Director Mercado.
The issue to be resolved is whether or not Lucilo R. Bayron, who is a non-career employee, can be designated as the official representative of the City Mayor in the PSB without necessarily violating Section 15 of CSC Memorandum Circular No. 40, s. 1998.
Evidently, as early as 1985, the Commission has prohibited the practice of appointing consultants, contractuals and other non-career personnel to positions exercising control or supervision over regular employees, such as officer-in-charge, executive directors or the like. Organic functions of an agency may only be exercised or discharged by the person appointed to position tasked to perform such functions. In all instances, the legal basis for performing the duties of an office in the career service is a valid appointment thereto which clearly a consultant does not have.
What can be perceived deductively from the foregoing, cannot squarely apply in the present case of Bayron. Bayron was merly designated as the official representative of the City Mayor to the PSB not as an officer-in-charge or executive director or any similar position which exercises control or supervision over regular and career positions. The PSB is not an "Office" or "Agency" contemplated under the law. To support this stance, the Commission is amenable to the undated opinion issued by Atty. Aileen C. Macasaet-Maningas, Assistant City Legal Officer of Puerto Princesa City, relative to the issues and circumstances surrounding the case, the pertinent portion of which, is hereunder restated, as follows:
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"The PSB as a board or body has neither plantilla positions nor permanent/regular employees to speak of. At best, it is just a 'temporary body' the composition or membership of which is not permanent but dependent on the political milieu of a particular LGU. And unlike a regular office, department, division, or section where positions, staffing pattern and personnel actions are governed by civil service laws and rules as implemented by the Civil Service Commission, membership therein is determined by the Sangguniang Panlungsod through a resolution (Section 80 [c], Local Government Code).
"Moreover, as the Mayor's official representative to the said board, you neither exercises control nor supervise the members of said board - you merely 'fill in' for the Mayor during screening or interviews and special meetings of the board. Even secretariat work is not supervised by you as this is deemed part of the ministerial duties of the Human Resource and Management Office.
"As regards to the mayor's power to designate his 'official representative' to the said board, there is no doubt that he can do so, as it is physically impossible for the City Mayor to be present in all the meetings and screenings of the said board and of the other board and bodies under his chairmanship. Such power is incidental to his other powers and necessary so that the mayor can exercise all his powers and fulfill all his duties and responsibilities as local chief executive of the City Government of Puerto Princesa. In choosing and designating his duly authorized representatives, the mayor would naturally choose someone who, enjoys his trust and confidence."
Corollary to the above, the duties and functions of the members of the PSB are primarily to screen and interview applicants/employees, in order to determine who among them is best suited to the vacant position and/or employees to be promoted based on merit and fitness. As the alter ego of the Mayor in the PSB, Bayron will be performing duties and responsibilities which require the trust and confidence of the City Mayor because he would be acting in his behalf. To sign and evaluate documents of applicants in the PSB in behalf of the Mayor are delicate matters which cannot be just entrusted to anyone who does not enjoy the latter's trust and confidence. Bayron's position as Executive Assistant VI, being primarily confidential, denotes not only confidence in the aptitude of the appointee for the duties of the office, but also close intimacy which ensures freedom of intercourse without embarrassment or freedom from misgiving of betrayals of personal trust in confidential matters of the state. (Cadiente vs. Santos, 142 SCRA 280) It remains to be said that it is still the City Mayor being the appointing authority, to whom it is lodged the discretion to choose from among the candidates who should be appointed or promoted based from the results of the screening and interviews conducted and submitted to him by the PSB.
WHEREFORE, the request of Mayor Edward S. Hagedorn of Puerto Princesa City, is hereby GRANTED. Accordingly, Lucilo R. Bayron, Executive Assistant VI of the same City, may be designated as the official representative of the City Mayor to the Personnel Selection Board without necessarily violating Section 15 of CSC Memorandum Circular No. 40, s. 1998.
Quezon City, APR 28 2000
(SGD.) CORAZON ALMA G. DE LEON
(SGD.) JOSE F. ERESTAIN, JR.
(SGD.) ARIEL G. RONQUILLO