OCAMPO, Ramsey L.
Re: Coverage of Civil Service Law and Rules
       to Cadets of the Philippine National
       Police Academy; Request for Opinion
x------------------------------------------------------------x



RESOLUTION NO. 020122



            Police Chief Superintendent Ramsey L. Ocampo, Acting President of the Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC), Inspectorate and Legal Officer, Philippine National Police (PNP), inquires from the Commission whether or not the Cadets undergoing training at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) are covered by Civil Service Law and Rules.

            In his request, Ocampo represented, as follows:

            "May we respectfully request for your legal opinion on the proper status of appointment of our students/cadets in the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA).

            "For a brief backgrounder, the cadetship program of the PNPA is being administered by the Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC) pursuant to the provision of RA 6975 (DILG Act of 1990), as amended by RA 8551 (PNP Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998).

            "Thus, under the existing set-up, the students/cadets are being rigidly screened and appointed for the purpose of undergoing a cadetship program in the PNPA for a period of four (4) years or completing the Bachelor of Science in Public Safety (BSPS).

            "While undergoing training in the PNPA, students/cadets are receiving salaries, allowances and other benefits at a rate that is more than what is being paid to a Senior Police Officer IV but less than the take home pay of a PNP Inspector.

            "And, for violation of the existing PNPA Cadet Guide and Honor Code, said students/cadets may be suspended and dismissed only by the President of the PPSC.

            "Hence, after completing the cadetship program, the students/cadets, subject to the quota requirements, are made to exercise an option in selecting an appointment in the public safety services whether it be the xxx (PNP), xxx (BFP), and xxx (BJMP).

            "In view of the peculiarities of the situation of the PNPA students/cadets and in response to the various queries from some sector, may we request for a clear cut legal opinion on their status of appointment, particularly indicating therein as to whether or not they are covered by the existing Civil Service Rules and Regulations especially on matters dealing with administrative disciplinary action. Xxx"

            In support thereof, the following relevant documents were transmitted:

1. Presidential Decree No. 1780 (Providing the Philippine   National Police Academy with an Academic Charter and Expanding its Curricular Programs) dated January 15, 1981;

2. Philippine National Police Academy Manual dated October 17, 1982;

3. General Orders Number 98-29 (Announcement of Appointment in the Bachelor of Science in Public Safety Class 2000);

4. Oath of Office;

5. Engagement to Service; and

6. Department of Budget and Management National Budget Circular No. 474 dated June 15, 2001 (Guidelines for the Grant of Five Percent (5%) Salary Adjustment to all Government Personnel Effective July 1, 2001).

            On the basis of the foregoing documents, the following facts maybe adduced relative to the admission and engagement of an individual into the Cadetship Program of the PNPA which is being administered by the PPSC.

            Presidential Decree No. 1780 declared the PNPA as the premier educational institution of the former Integrated National Police (Section 2). The participants to the cadetship training are known as cadets whose qualifications and standards for selection, appointment, pay and allowances, benefits and other privileges are determined by the Director General pursuant to Section 4 thereof which reads, as follows:

            "SEC. 4. Cadetship Program. Xxx

            "Participants in the Cadetship Program shall be known as cadets, whose qualifications and standards for selection, appointment, pay and allowances, benefits and other privileges shall be determined by the Director General in accordance with existing laws, rules and regulations.

            "Cadets herein shall collectively constitute the Corps of Cadets of the Integrated National Police."

            The Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Decree was issued on October 15, 1982 which was the PNPA Manual. The Director General, as the head of the Academy, was given the immediate control and supervision over the Academy which he can exercise through the Superintendent pursuant to Section 1 thereof.

            The administrative and operational aspects of the Academy including the personnel actions and discipline of cadets are provided for under the PNPA Manual. The Cadets’ rate of pay and allowances are fixed by the Director General (Section 27); the disciplinary measures for infractions of PNPA’s rules are made punishable and imposed the penalty by the Superintendent (Section 32); the leave credits (Section 34) and internal regulations as well are provided (Section 36).

            In addition to the foregoing rules, the Manual makes an express provision to the applicability on the cadets of the other laws applicable to the members of then Integrated National Police subject only to the condition that said rules do not contravene the provisions of the Decree. This is declared under Section 7, to wit:

            "Section 7. Applicability of Other Laws and Rules. - All laws applicable to the Integrated National Police are made applicable to the Academy and cadets or student officers and all other matters related thereto, unless they are contrary to or inconsistent with the provisions of the Presidential Decree No. 1780."

            The acquisition, availment and loss of privileges such as leave, discipline and punishment of Cadets are prescribed in details in the Honor Code and Honor System.

            Documents submitted further show that the admission into the PNPA is made through the issuance of a General Order. In said Order, the recruits were shown to have been appointed as Cadets in the Academy and by virtue of which they are enrolled in any of its academic programs. Also stated in the Order is the corresponding monthly salary. The PNPA-PPSC General Orders Number 98-29 is herein quoted, as follows:

                                                                                                                   "April 30, 1998

"GENERAL ORDERS

"NUMBER 98-29

            "ANNOUNCEMENT OF APPOINTMENT/ENROLLMENT IN THE BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN PUBLIC SAFETY CLASS 2000

            "Pursuant to Section 5, Rule VIII, Philippine National Police Academy Manual, Revised Edition of 1994 and subject to confirmation by the Philippine Public Safety College, the appointment of the following-named individuals as CADETS of this Academy with a monthly salary rate of NINE THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED PESOS (P 9,800.00) and their enrollment in the BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN PUBLIC SAFETY CLASS 2000 effective 04 May 1998 are hereby announced unless sooner terminated for cause:

"RANK/NAME/SNADDRESS
  
XXXXXX"

            In the Cadets’ Engagement to Service, certain limitations and restrictions were imposed. One of which is that cadets are obligated to reimburse the full amount expended by the government in their training in the event of any breach of said conditions. The limitations consist of the following:

"1. To remain at the Philippine National Police Academy until I have fully passed the prescribed course of instructions required for graduation, unless separated for cause or causes prescribed by competent authorities or permitted to resign;

"2. To accept an appointment to the rank of Inspector in the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology upon graduation from the Academy and to render at least two continuous years of active service in the police, fire or jail service for every year of cadet training anywhere in the country from the date of my appointment as Inspector, unless sooner separated or relieved by competent authority;

"3. Xxx

"4. To reimburse the government the full amount expended for my training in the event of any breach on my part in the fulfillment of the afore-mentioned (sic) obligation."

            Also submitted is the DBM National Circular No. 474 dated June 15, 2001 which fixed the Base Pay of Cadets at PhP 11,319.00 per month.

            For resolution of the Commission are the following issues:

1. Whether cadets are government employees.

2. Whether these cadets are covered by Civil Service Law and Rules.

            Both issues are answered in the negative.

            Anent the first issue. Starkly absent in the recruitment of Cadets is the appointment. Instead, admission into the PNPA is through a general order wherein they are enrolled in any of its academic programs and have to undergo training. The cadetship training being undergone by Cadets in the PNP Academy is likened to an employment covered by Contract of Service taking into account the fact that there is no employer-employee relationship existing between the cadets concerned and the government. Under CSC Memorandum Circular No. 40, Series of 1998, services rendered by an individual to the government in the absence of the employer-employee relationship is categorized as job order and therefore not government service. In particular, Section 2 (a), Rule XI of the Circular provides, as follows:

            "Sec. 1. Contracts of Services/Job Orders, as distinguished from those covered by Sec. 2 (e) and (f), RULE II of these Rules, need not be submitted to the Commission. Services rendered thereunder are not considered government services.

            "Sec. 2. Contracts of Services/Job Orders refer to employment described as follows:

"a. The contract covers lump sum work/ services xxx where no employer-employee relationship exist;"

            The subject of the cadets’ contract of service is for them to undergo training for a particular period of time. Their recruitment, training and discipline are governed by the provisions of the PNPA Manual. In case of breach of any or all of the provisions, cadets are under obligation to return all the funds expended to and incurred by the government by reason of their training. For emphasis, the acceptance of the recruit and his appointment as Cadet to the Academy is subject to the following conditions:

"1. To remain at the Philippine National Police Academy until I have fully passed the prescribed course of instructions required for graduation, unless separated for cause or causes prescribed by competent authorities or permitted to resign;

"2. To accept an appointment to the rank of Inspector in the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology upon graduation from the Academy and to render at least two continuous years of active service in the police, fire or jail service for every year of cadet training anywhere in the country from the date of my appointment as Inspector, unless sooner separated or relieved by competent authority;

"3. To remain single throughout the period of cadetship; and

"4. To reimburse the government the full amount expended for my training in the event of any breach on my part in the fulfillment of the abovementioned obligations."

            In consideration of their engagement as such, Cadets receive compensation in their submitting themselves to training. The amount thereof is fixed by the Department of Budget and Management.

            Relative to the second issue. The Commission will proceed to discuss the instant query despite its being rendered moot and academic by the first issue. Cadets are excluded from the coverage of Civil Service Law and Rules. Instead, they are covered by the Philippine National Police Academy Manual.

            The Civil Service Law and Rules covers all officers and employees both in the career and non-career service (Section 1, Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order No. 292 and Other Pertinent Civil Service Laws). As a condition precedent for the coverage, the officers or employees must be issued an appointment in Civil Service Form No. 22 (Rule II, CSC Memorandum Circular No. 40, Series of 1998). In the case at bar, the PNPA engages cadets through the issuance of General Orders. Pertinently, Section I reads, as follows:

            "SEC. 1. The revised CS Form 33 which shall be in Filipino with English translation, shall be used for appointments in the career and non-career service except those of casuals which shall use the Plantilla Appointment Form."

            On this premise, the question as to whom the power to discipline Cadets is vested is necessarily answered by the provisions of the PNPA Manual particularly Section 32, to wit:

            "Section 32. Authorized Disciplinary Punishments. - The Superintendent may impose the following punishments: admonition, reprimand, restriction to specified limits, confinement, deprivation of privileges, reduction in grade of cadet officers and cadet non-commissioned officers, punishment tours, fatigue punishments and loss of leave."

            WHEREFORE, the Commission hereby rules that Cadets are not government employees. Accordingly, they are not covered by civil service law and rules.

            Quezon City, JAN 24 2002



  (Signed)
J. WALDEMAR V. VALMORES
Commissioner
(Signed)
KARINA CONSTANTINO-DAVID
Chairman
   
   
(Signed)
JOSE F. ERESTAIN, JR.
Commissioner
 
Attested by:


(Signed)
ARIEL G. RONQUILLO
Director III


FPG/RTM/X1/X8/jca166
O-010326
20010712-042
/ocampo’r1