GLORIANE, Edgardo
JAMOLIN, Sonia
OFRACIO, Ronald

Re: Appointment; Appointing Authority; Appeal
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RESOLUTION NO. 98-0163

 

            Vice Mayor Albino G. Guyala III, Municipality of Bulan, Sorsogon, appeals the disapproval by the Civil Service Regional Office (CSRO) No. V of the appointments of Edgardo M. Gloriane as Private Secretary II, Sonia L. Jamolin as Clerk II and Ronald G. Ofracio as Utility Worker I, in the Office of the Vice-Mayor. Said appointments were disapproved because these were signed by the Vice-Mayor who is not the appointing authority.

            In his appeal, Guyala alleges as follows:

            "The only basis for the denial of Vice Mayor Guyala’s request for reconsideration by the Director of Civil Service Commission Regional Office No. 5 is the ruling in the earlier case of Johnson R. Andrade , "there is no provision in the Local Government Code which authorizes the Vice Mayor to appoint officials and employees in the Office of the Vice Mayor x x x."

            "The Johnson R. Andrade ruling, it is submitted, must now be reviewed and overturned by this Honorable Commission as it is erroneous and proceeds from a false assumption.

            "Section 444(V) Chapter 3 of the Local Government Code provides only that the Mayor has "the power to appoint all officials and employees whose salaries and wages are paid wholly or mainly out of Municipal Funds and whose appointments are not otherwise provided for tin the Local Government Code as well as those he may be authorized by law to appoint."

            "In other words, the appointing power of the Municipal Mayor does not cover those "whose appointments are otherwise provided for in the local Government Code."

            "Who are those not within the appointing p[power of the Mayor and "whose appointment are provided otherwise under the Local Government Code?

            "Undoubtedly, among those "officials and employees of the Sangguniang Bayan."

            "Under Section 445 (a)(1) and (2) of the Local Government Code, the Vice Mayor shall:

            (1) Be the Presiding Officer of the Sangguniang Bayan and sign all warrants drawn on the Municipal treasury for all expenditures appropriated for the operations of the Sangguniang Bayan."

            "(2) Subject to civil service law, rules and regulation, appointment all officials and employees of the sannguniang bayan, except those whose manner of appointment is specially provided in this Code."

            "Are the staff of the Vice Mayor to be deemed as "officials and employees of the Sangguniang Bayan? The answer is YES, they are.

            "Firstly, Section 446 (a), Art. 3 of the Local Government Code distinctly locates the Vice Mayor as an integral part and parcel of the Sangguniang Bayan. That Section provides:

            "Sec. 446. Composition. (a) The Sangguniang Bayan, the legislative body of the municipality, shall be composed of the municipal vice mayor as the presiding officer, the regular sanggunian members, the president of the municipal chapter of the Liga ng mga Barangay, the president of the Pambayang Pederasyon ng mga sangguniang kabataan, and the sectoral representatives as members.:

            "Secondly, there is no provision in the Local Government Code that provides that either the Vice Mayor ir his staff, shall be deemed as failing within the supervision or control of the Municipal Mayor.

            "It may be argued that Section 446 of the Local Government Code only mentioned the Vice Mayor as among those composing the Sangguniang Bayan, but does not mention his staff (his officers and employees). That may be so; but to so argue would lead to a ridiculous conclusion; for neither were mentioned that staff of the regular members of the Sangguniang Bayan, nor other officers and employees of the Sangguniang Bayan who naturally are needed to man its operation.

            "The logic here is simple. The Vice Mayor is constitutive of the Sangguniang Bayan, the legislative body of the municipality, as its presiding officer. Ergo, the office of the Vice Mayor is the office of the presiding officer of the Sangguniang Bayan.

            "If the Vice Mayor, by mandate of law, is made the administrative chief of the Sangguniang Bayan, why cannot the Vice Mayor be administrative chief of his own staff? It is ridiculous to situate the Vice Mayor (his body and soul) within the Sangguniang Bayan, and have his staff (his arms and legs) subservient to the Municipal Mayor. Only in the Philippines!!

            "Moreover, section 3 (Operative Principles of Decentralization) of the Local Government Code provides:

            "Sec. 3. the formulation and implementation of policies and measures on local autonomy shall be guided by the following operatives principles:

            (a) There shall be an effective allocation among the different local government units of their respective powers, functions, responsibilities, and resources;

            (b) There shall be established in every local government unit an accountable, efficient and dynamic organizational structure and opening mechanism that will meet the priority needs and service requirements of its communities;

            (c) Subject to Civil Service law, rules and regulations, local officials and employees paid wholly or mainly from local funds shall be appointed or removed according to merit and fitness, by the appropriate appointing authority.

x x x

            (j) Effective mechanism for ensuring the accountability of local government units to their respective constituents shall be strengthened in order to upgrade continually the quality of local leadership

            "Conformably with the aforecited operative principles, therefore, it would be preposterous to vest in the Municipal Mayor the authority to appoint the staff of the Vice Mayor who is the presiding officer of the Sangguniang Bayan. The Sangguniang Bayan is obviously an independent body if not co-equal body of the local executive branch. To vest in the Municipal Mayor such an authority will certainly undermine the independence and integrity of the Sangguniang Bayan, especially so if the Municipal Mayor happens to be of the autocratic and vindictive type as now appears to be the case of the Bulan municipal mayor.

            "In reviewing the case of Johnson R. Andrade, we urge that the overall intent of the farmers of the local government code to establish an efficient, effective, dynamic, accountable local government be not lost sight of. Check and balance, at the local level, is certainly necessary to achieve that intent.

            "In view of all the foregoing, it is respectfully prayed that the Honorable Commission reverse the action of the Civil Service Commission Sorsogon Field Office recalling the approved appointment of Edgardo M. Glorianne, and disapproving the appointments of Mrs. Sonia L. Jamolin, and Ronald G. Ofracio as Private Secretary II, Clerk II, and Utility worker I, respectively, by upholding the authority of the Vice Mayor as Presiding Officer and administrative chief of the Sangguniang Bayan to appoint his own staff."

            The sole issue to be resolved in the instant case is whether or not Vice Mayor may validly appoint the staff of his office.

            The Commission finds the appeal devoid of merit.

            The decision of this Commission in the case of ANDRADE, Johnson R., CSC Resolution No. 95-3413 dated 30 May 1995 reads, as follows:

            "Upon evaluation of the records, the Commission finds the herein appeal devoid of merit. As certified by Mr. Jose Gervacio, Human Resource Management Officer II, Andrade was issued an appointment to the position of Utility Worker I by the Vice Mayor.

            "Section 444(v), Chapter 3 of the Local Government Code provides that the mayor has the power to appoint all officials and employees whose salaries and wages are wholly or mainly paid out of municipal funds and whose appointments are not otherwise provided for in the Local Government Code, as well as those he may be authorized by law to appoint. There is no provision in the Local Government Code which authorizes the Vice Mayor to appoint officials and employees in the Office of the Vice Mayor. It is incontestable therefore that the Mayor has appointing authority over the employees in the Office of the Vice Mayor. By exercising such authority vested in another official, the Vice Mayor acted beyond and outside his mandate, thus, the effect or result of said act must be declared null and void. x x x"

            The contention of appellant that the decision in the case of Andrade is erroneous must be rejected for lack of merit.

            Section 444(v), Chapter 3 of the Local Government Code explicitly grants the local chief executive the power to appoint the local government employees. Said Section reads:

            "SEC 444. The Chief Executive: Powers, Duties, Functions and Compensation. – (a) The municipal mayor, as the chief executive of the municipal government, shall exercise such powers and perform such duties and functions as provided by this Code and other laws.

            (b) For efficient, effective and economical governance the purpose of which is the general welfare of the municipality and its inhabitants pursuant to Section 16 of this Code, the municipal mayor shall:

            "(1) Exercise general supervision and control over all programs, projects, service, and activities of the municipal government., and in this connection, shall:

x x x

            "(v) Appoint all officials and employees whose slaries and wages are wholly or mainly paid out of municipal funds and whose appointments are not otherwise provided for in this Code, as well as those he may be authorized by law to appoint."

            In the case of Provincial Board of Cebu vs. Presiding Judge of Cebu Court of Fist Instance, Br. IV, 171 SCRA, Promulgated 7 March 1989, the Supreme Court said as follows:

            "It is a cardinal principle of statutory construction that where the words and phrases of a statue are not obscure or ambiguous, its meaning and the intention of the legislature must be determined from the language employed, and where there is no ambiguity in the words, there is no room for construction."

            And in the case of United Paracale Mining Inc. vs. Dela Rosa, 221 SCRA 108, Promulgated 7 April 1993, the Supreme Court held that:

            "A condition sine qua non before the court may construe or interpret a statute is that there be doubt or ambiguity in its language. Time and again, it has been repeatedly declared by the Supreme Court that where the law speaks in clear and categorical language, there is no room for application. Where the law is clear and unambiguous, it must be taken to mean exactly what it says and the court has no choice but to see to it that its mandate is obeyed."

            Since the salaries of Glorianne et al. are wholly or mainly to be paid out of the municipal funds and their appointments are not otherwise provided for in the Local Government Code, or the authority to appoint is vested in some specific local official then the Mayor or Bulan, Sorsogon is the proper appointing official of Gloriane et al.

            Finally, the claim of Vice Mayor Guyala that the staff of his Office belong to the Sangguniang Bayan and therefore under his power to appoint is without merit. Although the Local Government Code (RA 7160) does not specifically state the separation of the Office of the Vice Mayor and its personnel therein from the Sangguniang Bayan, the Commission is of the opinion that the two offense are indeed separate and distinct from one other. Hence, the employees of the Office of the Vice Mayor are and should be appointed by the Mayor.

            WHEREFORE, the instant appeal is hereby dismissed for lack of merit. Accordingly, the disapproval of the appointments of Edgardo M. Gloriane as Private Secretary II, Sonia L. Jamolin as Clerk II and Ronald G. Ofracio as Utility Worker I, all of the Office of the Vice Mayor is affirmed.

            Quezon City, February 03, 1998



  (Signed)
THELMA P. GAMINDE
Commissioner
(Signed)
CORAZON ALMA G. DE LEON
Chairman


(Signed)
JOSE F. ERESTAIN, JR.
Commissioner
  Attested by:


(Signed)
CARMENCITA GISELLE B. BORILLO
Board Secretary VI