DANIEL, Ma. Esperanza C.,
TARRANCO, Cleofe O.
Re: Performance Evaluation System;
      Appeal
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RESOLUTION NO. 002486

Ma. Rosella C. Chua Cheng, Municipal Health Officer and Head, Office of the Rural Health Unit, Alabat, Quezon, appeals the decision dated March 13, 2000 of the Civil Service Commission Regional Office (CSCRO) No. IV, which dismissed her complaint against Ma. Esperanza C. daniel and Cleofe O. Tarranco for lack of cause of action. Pertinent portions of the decision read, as follows:

"In this particular case, Mayor Artemio S. Mascarina is only exercising his powers and duties as the local chief executive of the Municipal Government of Alabat, Quezon. . .

". . .it is clear that the appointment of personnel which includes the power to discipline and the authority to rate employees based on their Performance Evaluation Report Form within the municipal government are some of the duties and responsibilities of the local chief executive. . . . when Mayor Mascarina affixed his signature as Rater's Supervisor in the PERF of Mesdames Daniel and Tarranco. . . he is only exercising his duties and responsibilities as the local chief executive of the Municipal Government of Alabat, Quezon.

"In the case of Mr. Feliciano M. Mascarina, the Human Resource Management Officer V, he is only exercising the duties and responsibilities given to him when he was authorized by Mayor Artemio s. Mascarina to sign performance rating sheets in extreme cases. . . to employ (sic) check and balance. . . given authority to SIGN Performance Rating Sheets of employees for the Heads of Offices who give low rating sheets to the former without justification and proper investigation. This is only upon complaints of affected employees who were denied justice and fair play by their immediate superiors. . .

"With respect to the case of Mesdames Daniel and Tarranco, there was no sufficient evidence presented to make them liable for Insubordination.

". . .in this particular case, complainant Chua-Cheng failed to present evidence or supporting documents that Mesdames Daniel and Tarranco refused to obey lawful orders from a superior.

"WHEREFORE, the complaint of complainant Ma. Rosella C. Chua Cheng against Mesdames Ma. Esperanza C. Daniel and Cleofe O. Tarranco, Mr. Feliciano M. Mascarina and Mayor Artemio S. Mascarina for Abuse of authority (Usurpation of Official Functions), Insubordination, Oppression and Gross Misconduct in the Performance of duty is hereby DISMISSED for lack of cause of action. Accordingly, the case is considered CLOSED AND TERMINATED."

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In her appeal, Chua Cheng avers that:

"1. That the Decision rendered by the Regional Director of the Civil Service Regional Office No. IV. . . dismissing the complaint for alleged lack of cause of action has no basis in fact and in law, and the same is contrary to the spirit, purpose and objective of the "Performance Evaluation System" (PES) inunciated (sic) and established by the Honorable Civil Service Commission to enhance and promote the merit system in the government service.

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"2. The complainant does not question, much less challenge the power and authority of the respondent mayor to appoint and supervise his subordinate officials as mandated by the Local Government Code, but such power and authority are subject to the rules and regulations prescribed by the lawful authority, and the same may not be abused with impunity. Thus, the respondent mayor may not be allowed to ignore and violate the Memorandum Circular of this Honorable Commission implementing the PES and assumed (sic) the role of a rater to satisfy his (sic) whims and caprice of his protegees.

"2.01 the Respondent Mayor Mascarinas may not also be allowed to falsify the Performance Rating Report Form by erasing the rating originally given by a supervisor or head of office and superemposed (sic) thereon the rating desired by the subordinate officials. "2.02 If, indeed, the subordinate officials are not happy or satisfied with the ratings given them by their supervisor or head of office, the PES provides for the rule on the grievances but certainly not for them to go to their godfather in order to increase their rating.

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"Nowhere in the Mechanics of Appeal in the PES does it allow a Municipal Mayor, much less a Human Resource Management Officer to change a rating of an employee given by his immediate supervisor.

"It is also highly incredible and unbelievable for the Regional Director for Region IV to dismiss the complaint for alleged lack of cause of action. A mere casual readings of the allegations made in the complaint affidavits would readily show the litany of the cause or causes of action justifying punitive and administrative sanction by this Honorable Commission. Thus, the complaint clearly and distinctly narrated the following facts and circumstances constituting the cause of casuses of actions:

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"4. Finally, it is respectfully submitted that it is highly irresponsible for the Regional Director to rule and conclude that the power and authority of Mayor Mascarinas to appoint subordinate officials under the Local Government Code of 1991 authorized and empowered him to changed (sic). . . the rating given to respondents Daniel and Tarranco by their immediate supervisor and head of office, the herein complainant . . . It should also be noted that the power and authority of respondent Mayor Mascarinas to appoint his subordinate official does not (sic) empower him to appoint his substitute rated (sic) a none (sic) qualified official as respondent Fekicuano (sic) Mascarinas, who is not considered as a Head of Office by the Commission on Audit."

In its comment, the CSCRO No. IV avers that:

". . .this Office dismissed appellant Chua Cheng's complaint against Ma. Esperanza C. Daniel, et al., for lack of cause of action on the ground that Mesdames Ma. Esperanza C. Daniel and Cleofe Tarranco cannot be faulted by signing their own Performance Evaluation Report covering the period from January 1 to June 30, 1998. It is their obligation to sign their own Performance Evaluation Report.

"As to the case of Mr. Feliciano M. Mascarinas and Mayor Artemio S. Mascarina, they are only performing their duties and responsibilities attached to their respective positions as Human Resource Management Officer V and local chief executive respectively, of the Municipal Government of Alabat, Quezon.

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". . .it is clear that the appointment of personnel which includes the power to discipline and the authority to rate employees based on their Performance Evaluation Report Form within the municipal government are some of the duties and responsibilities of the local chief executive. Such being the case, when Mayor Mascarina affixed his signature as Rater's Supervisor in the PERF of Mesdames Daniel and Tarranco covering the period of January 1 to June 30, 1998, her (sic) is only exercising his duties and responsibilities as the local chief executive of the Municipal Government of Alabat, Quezon."

". . .In the case of Feliciano M. Mascarina, the Human Resource Management Officer V, he is only exercising the duties and responsibilities given to him when he was authorized by mayor (sic) Artemio S. Mascarina to sign performance rating sheet in extreme cases. This was reinforced when Mayor Mascarina issued Office Order dated June 3, 1998 authorizing Mr. Feliciano M. Mascarina to sign PERF. . . to employ check and balance, you are hereby given authority to SIGN Performance Rating Sheets of employees for the Heads of Offices who give low ratings to the former without justification and proper investigation. . . In line with this authority, Mr. Mascarina is only performing his duties and responsibilities as the Human Resource Management Officer V of the Municipal Government of Alabat, Quezon."

The issues to be resolved are, to wit:

1. Whether Daniel and Tarranco may be held liable for Insubordination and Gross Misconduct in directly making a recourse to the Head of Human Resource Management V and the Mayor who accommodated them and gave them a very satisfactory rating.

Whether the respective acts of the Mayor and the Respondent Human Resource Management Officer in signing, as rater and supervisor, respectively the Performance Evaluation Rating Forms of Daniel and Tarranco constitute Abuse of Authority. 3. The commission answers the aforequoted issues in the negative.

The following are the undisputed facts of the case:

Ma. Esperanza C. Daniel and Cleofe Tarranco are employees of the Rural Health Unit of Alabat,Quezon. Artemio S. Mascarina and Feliciano M. Mascarina are the Mayor and Head of the Human Resource Management Office of the same municipality, respectively. Dr. Ma. Rosella Chua Cheng is the immediate supervisor of Daniel and Tarranco. In September, 1998, Daniel and Tarranco submitted their Performance Evaluation Rating Forms to Chua Cheng covering the period from January to June 1998, in which the latter gave them only a satisfactory rating. Unsatisfied with the rating, Daniel and Tarranco went directly to HRMO Mascarina and Mayaor Mascarina who readily accommodated them and gave them very satisfactory ratings in their PERF. Naturally, Daniel and Tarranco affixed their respective signatures thereto. Hence, the present action.

Relevant to the case at bar are pertinent provisions of CSC Memorandum Circular No. 12 s. 1993 which state:

"VI. Mechanics of Rating "A. Appraisal

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"2. The supervisor and the employee meet to discuss and agree on the rating and develop plans for work improvement.

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"6 If the employee disagrees with the final rating of his performance, he shall also sign the report and/or initial the changes. He may appeal his rating in accordance with the rules and procedures for the purpose.

"VII. Mechanism of Appeal

"An employee who expresses dissatisfaction with the rating given him may appeal to the Grievance Committee established under CSC MC No. 45 s. 1989 within 15 days after receipt of his copy of Performance Appraisal Report.

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"Within fifteen (15) days after receiving an official copy of his rating, an employee may file an appeal in writing specifying what his performance rating should be, the reasons therefore, and supporting documents to support his appeal."

Worthy to stress is that all complaints relative to performance rating must be addressed to the Grievance Committee created for the purpose within the department, agency or unit concerned. Such Grievance Committee has the jurisdiction to act on appeals relative to performance rating given by the rater-supervisor to his immediate subordinates. Since under the rules, the ratee has fifteen (15) days from receipt of rating to question the same with the Grievance Machinery and ratee did not do so, then the respective ratings of Daniel and Tarranco given by Chua Cheng are deemed final and unappealable.

However, the Commission, in the interest of the justice, fair play and equity, delved into the issues arising from the complaint of Chua-Cheng.

Records show that Chua Cheng gave Daniel and Tarranco only "Satisfactory" rating which was a deviation from the one prepared by the latter (Very Satisfactory) as the two employees (Daniel and Tarranco) committed some misdemeanors and misconduct in the office. Item of her complaint-affidavit states:

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"Since I could only approve the rating of 'Satisfactory ' and not 'Very Satisfactory' as suggested and desired by the two above named respondents due to some misdemeanors and misconducts (sic) in office."

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In the instant case, the Commission notes that Chua Cheng rated her two subordinates with satisfactory as admitted in her complaint-affidavit dated December 29, 1998, not on the basis of the performance or capacity to perform but rather due to some misdemeanors and misconduct in office. If there was such misconduct and misdemeanors, as Chua Cheng wants the Commission to believe, she should have filed a complaint against her subordinates in accordance with the tenets of due process (Substantive/Procedural) in order to give them their 'day in court', so to speak. Otherwise, the intent and spirit of Performance Evaluation system will be defeated. After all, Performance Evaluation system connotes performance as the main basis of evaluation and ultimately, the granting of performance rating. Performance includes time, quality, volume of work and behavior. This is precisely the reason why PES was established in all levels of the government so as to promote the most effective use of manpower in the organization in order that the employee makes his/her optimum contribution in the delivery of basis services.

The actuations of the Municipal Mayor and the HRMO in accommodating the two and eventually granting them very satisfactory rating which in essence, set aside the satisfactory rating approved by Chua Cheng is to correct the impression that the giving by Chua Cheng of a satisfactory rating to Daniel and Tarranco was not based on the PES but instead due to some misdemeanors and misconduct in office which was unsubstantiated. The Mayor at most, is only exercising his authority being the chief executive of the municipality. The action of HRMO Mascaria is in compliance with the Office Order dated June 3, 1998 issued by the Mayor. It is beyond reason for Chua Cheng to rate her subordinates (Daniel and Tarranco) as satisfactory simply, because of misdemeanors and misconduct in office.

In sum, the Commission finds no prima facie evidence sufficient to formally charge HRMO Mascarina of the acts complained of.

As to the administrative complaint against Daniel and Tarranco for Insubordination and Grave Misconduct, the Commission is constrained to dismiss the same for lack of cause of action. To constitute Insubordination, there must be a refusal to obey some order which a superior officer is entitled to give. The term imports a willful or intentional disregards of the lawful and reasonable instructions of the employer (CSC Resolution No. 99-0390, dated February 10, 1999). The mere affixing of signatures to their PERF is not insubordination much more grave misconduct since there is no clear intent to violate the law of flagrant disregard of established rule (Landrito vs. CSC, 223 SCRA 564).

WHEREFORE the appeal of Ma. Rosella C. Chua Cheng is hereby DISMISSED. The decision of CSCRO No. IV is affirmed.

Quezon City, Oct. 27,2000.

(signed)

CORAZON ALMA G. DE LEON

Chairman

               O.B.

JOSE F. ERESTAIN, JR.

      Commissioner

              (signed)

J.WALDEMAR V. VALMORES

         Commissioner

Attested by:              

(signed)

ARIEL G. RONQUILLO

Director III