Osea vs Malaya

G.R. No. 139821 January 30, 2002

Facts:
Petitioner filed a protest with the Civil Service Commission. She averred that she was appointed as OIC, Assistant Schools Division Superintendent of Camarines Sur, by then DECS Sec.Ricardo T. Gloria, upon the endorsement of the Provincial School Board of Camarines Sur. Despite the recommendation of Sec.Gloria, President Fidel V. Ramos appointed respondent to the position of Schools Division Superintendent of Camarines Sur. Petitioner averred that respondent’s appointment was made without prior consultation with the Provincial School Board, in violation of Sec.99 of the LGC of 1991. Hence, petitioner prayed that respondent’s appointment be recalled and set aside for being null and void.
Sec. 99 of RA 7610 provides:
“Sec. 99. Functions of Local School Boards. — The provincial, city or municipal school board shall:
xxx xxx xxx.
The Department of Education, Culture and Sports shall consult the local school boards on the appointment of division superintendents, districtsupervisors, school principals, and other school officials.”

The CSC dismissed petitioner’s protest complaint. The CSC found that President Ramos appointed respondent without any specific division. Thus, respondent performed the functions of Schools Division Superintendent in Iriga City. On November 3, 1997, Sec.Gloria designated respondent as Schools Division Superintendent of Camarines Sur, and petitioner as Schools Division Superintendent of Iriga City.
In dismissing petitioner’s protest, the CSC held that Sec.99 of the LGC of 1991 contemplates a situation where the DECS issues the appointments, whereas respondent’s appointment was made by the President, in the exercise of his appointing power. Moreover, the designation of respondent as Schools Division Superintendent of Camarines Sur and of petitioner as Schools Division Superintendent of Iriga City were in the nature of reassignments, in which case consultation with the local school board was unnecessary.

Issue:
Whether Respondent was merely re-assigned and did not require the mandatory consultation with the Local School Board under Sec.99 of RA 7160.

Held:
The afore-quoted portion of Sec.99 of the LGC of 1991 applies to appointments made by the DECS. This is because at the time of the enactment of the LGC, schools division superintendents were appointed by the DECS to specific divisions or locations.
In 1994, the Career Executive Service Board issued Memorandum Circular No.21, Series of 1994, placing the positions of schools division superintendent and assistant schools division superintendent within the career executive service. Consequently, the power to appoint persons to career executive service positions was transferred from the DECS to the President.
Under the circumstances, the designation of respondent as Schools Division Superintendent of Camarines Sur was not a case of appointment. Her designation partook of the nature of a reassignment from Iriga City, where she previously exercised her functions as OIC Schools Division Superintendent, to Camarines Sur. Clearly, therefore, the requirement in Sec. 99 of the LGC of 1991 of prior consultation with the local school board, does not apply. It only refers to appointments made by the DECS. Such is the plain meaning of the said law.
Appointment should be distinguished from reassignment. An appointment may be defined as the selection, by the authority vested with the power, of an individual who is to exercise the functions of a given office. When completed, usually with its confirmation, the appointment results in security of tenure for the person chosen unless he is replaceable at pleasure.
On the other hand, a reassignment is merely a movement of an employee from one organizational unit to another in the same department or agency, which does not involve a reduction in rank, status or salary and does not require the issuance of an appointment. In the same vein, a designation connotes merely the imposition of additional duties on an incumbent official.

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