The Civil Service Commission has dismissed the appeals filed by three former casual employees of the Makati city government whose appointments were not renewed last July 2016, stating that the non-renewal of their appointments was a “lawful exercise of management prerogative.”
The complainants―Leonardo Terrenal, Jayjay Solon and Patricio Abellera III―worked as casual employees under the Public Safety Department as Security Guard III, Traffic Aide II and Traffic Aide I, respectively, until June 30, 2016 when their six-month appointment expired.
In its decisions signed by Alicia dela Rosa-Bala, chairperson, the CSC ruled that since casual employment automatically ceases at the end of the stated period unless renewed, Terrenal, Solon and Abellera were not illegally dismissed, as they claimed.
For her part, Mayor Abby Binay thanked the CSC for its fair and objective treatment of the said complaints.
“I am thankful to the Civil Service Commission for consistently upholding the law in the resolution of cases involving questions on the legality of personnel-related actions taken by the city government. By making sure that all civil servants adhere to the highest ethical standards, it has kept true to its mission of promoting excellence in public service,” Mayor Abby said.
The mayor noted that the CSC had previously revoked, upon the recommendation of the city government, some 326 ‘midnight appointments’ issued by former Acting Mayor Kid Peña for violating the Election Ban. These included 114 promotions, 175 regularizations, and 29 casual appointments.
In their individual appeals dated Sept. 25, 2016 filed with the CSC, the complainants claimed they, along with other co-workers, had been dismissed from the service without due process by Mayor Abby upon her assumption to duty in July 2016.
In response, the mayor through the Office of the City Attorney (Law Department) cited relevant laws and jurisprudence to dispute the allegations of the complainants.
“The power of appointment is essentially a political question involving considerations of wisdom which only the appointing authority can decide,” it stated.
The CSC concurred, stating that the non-renewal of casual appointments was “a lawful exercise of management prerogative.”
Addressing the political issue raised by the complainants, the CSC also cited the case of Rodrigo, Filma A., CSC Resolution No. 011947 dated September 10, 2001.
That decision states: “The fact that she was in the employ of the municipal government as a casual employee, which she admitted in her appeal, means that she enjoys no tenurial security granted by the Constitution. Her services are terminable anytime, there being no need to show cause.”
“Her invocation of alleged political motivation or color underlying her ouster cannot afford her any relief for the same does not alter the fact that hers was a casual employment devoid of security of tenure.”
Records show that the city Human Resource Development Office had issued a memorandum dated May 19, 2016 advising all casual, contractual, and job order employees that their services will be terminated effective at the close of office hours on June 30, 2016.
The memo also listed the requirements for the renewal of appointments to be submitted not later than June 15, 2016. Another memo dated June 8, 2016 reiterated the said directives, reminding all department and office heads to submit a list of casual and contractual employees recommended for renewal.
In its decisions, the CSC also reiterated the ruling that casual employment will automatically cease at the end of the stated period unless renewed.
It further stated certain conditions under which casual employment may be terminated anytime, as follows: 1) when their services are no longer needed; 2) funds are no longer available; 3) the project has already been completed/finished; or 4) their performances are below par.