BY CARLA GOMEZ
The Civil Service Commission has disapproved the appointment of three Sugar Regulatory Administration deputy administrators on the ground that the composition of the Human Resource Merit Promotion and Selection Board (HRMPSB) for 2nd Level Managerial and Executive Officers was not in accordance with the rules.
This was disclosed by CSC-National Capital Region Director 4 Judith Dongallo-Chicano in a letter to SRA Board Members Emilio Bernardino Yulo and Roland Beltran following their request for the commission to disapprove the permanent appointments of the three issued by SRA Administrator Hermenegildo Serafica for alleged violation of the Civil Service Law.
“We maintain that the appointment of the deputies was regular and the board members, as members of the HRMPSB, had participated in the deliberations,” Serafica said Thursday in response.
“Even the Civil Service Commission had not touched on the issues raised by the two board members, who are not the appointing authority as the same is lodged to the Office of the Administrator,” he said.
The appointment of the deputies is imperative and in accordance with the rationalization program of SRA, Serafica said.
“With good faith and the greater good of all employees and stakeholders of the sugarcane industry, without any political color or influence, the appointment of the deputies had redounded to the benefit of employees and the agency in general,” he said.
The CSC in disapproving the appointments of Ignacio Santillana, Guillerma Tejida III and Brando Noroña as SRA deputy administrators said the qualification standards show that they met all the requirements for the position, however, the composition of the HRMPSP was not in accordance with the rules.
The HRMPSB for 2nd Level Managerial and Executive Officers is composed of the chairperson, Agriculture Secretary William Dar, who was represented by his chief of staff Cheryl Marie Natividad-Caballero, with Serafica, Beltran and himself as members, Yulo said.
Since he and Beltran did not vote there was no majority, he said.
The chairperson certified that there was a deliberation on February 19, Yulo said.
There was no deliberation on February 19 as shown by the certified true copy of the minutes, he pointed out.
“The chairperson was not even present on February 19. How can he then certify as to his own personal knowledge when he was not present at the said interview,” he added.
Obviously, this is falsification under Section 171 of the Penal Code specifically “causing it to appear that persons have participated in any act or proceedings when they did not in fact so participate”, dishonesty, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, Yulo said.
What transpired on that date was that the members of the HRMPSB interviewed three more applicants for deputy administrators, Yulo said.
Yulo said there was also absolutely no deliberation held on Jan. 21, 2020 as claimed, because he and Serafica were at the House of Representatives for a hearing on the Sugar Industry Development Act by the Committee on Agriculture.
He also asked how the chairperson on January 21 could “certify” that the appointee was “screened and found qualified” because there was still on-going interviews prospectively scheduled for February 19.
This is “clearly a classic case of the cart before the horse. In local parlance, gin calo-calo,” Yulo said.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri asked Serafica about the appointments of three deputy administrators that he said were not deliberated on and did not have the consent of the majority of the SRA Board during the senate hearing on the Department of Agriculture’s budget on Monday.*