Press Release
August 28, 2012

Senate passes bill strengthening the Career Executive Service

The Senate today approved on third and final reading a bill which seeks to professionalize the ranks of government managers and executives by requiring them to comply with civil service rules.

Sen. Sonny Trillanes, who authored and sponsored Senate Bill No. 3215 or the Act Strengthening the Career Executive Service, said the passage of the proposed legislation into law would help minimize political appointments and encourage the professionalization of managers and executives by strictly adhering to the principles of merit system in government service.

The measure garnered 14 affirmative votes, zero negative vote and zero abstention with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Senate President Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Estrada, Senate Majority Floor Leader Tito Sotto and Senators Edgardo Angara, Joker Arroyo, Pia Cayetano, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Frank Drilon, Chiz Escudero, Lito Lapid, Loren Legarda, Bongbong Marcos, Bong Revilla and Manny Villar rending the affirmative votes.

Similar bills, Senate Bill No. 2671 and House Bill No. 5624, were earlier passed on third reading in the Senate and House of Representatives respectively. But the consolidated measure was vetoed by President Aquino who said that the proposed measure diminishes the power of the President to "appoint, discipline and supervise presidential appointees as enshrined by the Constitution."

"We have refilled the measure and introduced amendments to address the concern. This proposed legislation seeks to strengthen the Career Executive Service by placing the Career Executive Service Board (CESB) under the supervision of the Civil Service Commission, as well as introduce structural and functional changes into the CESB," Trillanes explained.

The CESB is a policy-making body responsible for the development, training and administration of civil managers and executives. It was formed to create a continuing pool of well-selected development-oriented career administrators.

Under the proposed measure, Trillanes said the Office of the President shall have the primary disciplinary authority over the presidential appointees while the disciplinary authority in case of the non-presidential appointees shall remain in the head of the agency and, in a concurrent capacity, the Civil Service Commission.

According to Trillanes, the Senate Committee on Civil Service has also introduced some minor revisions to clarify the intent of the bill.

"For instance, in Sec. 16, Appointment to Positions in the Career Executive Service, we have removed the phrase which requires all officials who are in Salary Standardization Law-exempt agencies to be Career Executive Eligible to avoid possible conflict with the Government Owned and Controlled Corporation Governance Act of 2012, Republic Act NO. 10149 and incognizance of our previous commitment to Senator Franklin Drilon to harmonize this measure with the provisions of the GOCC Governance Act," Trillanes said.

Earlier, Drilon said CESB has no authority to remove government executives for lack of eligibility and only the Civil Service Commission has that authority.

It can be recalled that the Public Attorney's Office protested over a CESB resolution rendering the tenure of PAO officials temporary because they are non-career executive service officers and they are required to meet certain eligibility requirements other than being lawyers.

Drilon had introduced amendments to SBN 3215 "to align it with the 1987 Constitution." (Pilar Macrohon, PRIB)

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