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SP denies confirmation of Buted’s appointment

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Special Report by Joenald Medina Rayos

BATANGAS Capitol – “FOR having failed to get the approval vote (or 9 votes) of the majority of all the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) [as mandated by the Local Government Code], the report of the Committee of Human Resources for the confirmation of the appointment of Katrin Erika A. Buted as department head of the Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office (PTCAO) is DENIED.”

Thus, 4th District Board Member and Acting Presiding Officer Aries Emmanuel Mendoza ruled on the Committee Report introduced by Board Member Roman Junjun Rosales, chairperson of the Committee on Human Resources during the Fourth Regular Session of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan on Monday, January 22.

Those who voted ‘YES’ include Board Members Alfredo Corona and Rodolfo Balba of the 3rd District;  BM Rosales of 1st District; Board Members Jonas Patrick Gozos, Arthur Blanco and Lydio Lopez of the 4th, 5th, and 6th Districts, respectively. 

On the other hand, those who voted ‘NO’ include Senior Board Member Ma. Claudette U. Ambida of the 5th District; 2nd District Board Members Arlina Bantugon -Magboo and Wilson Rivera, and 4th District BM Jesus De Veyra.

Both First District BM Armie Bausas and PCL-Batangas Chapter president Melvin Vidal abstained.

Not qualified

BM Magboo listed eight (8) reasons why she voted NO to concur on Buted’s appointment, mainly on the failure of the appointee to meet the minimum requirements on trainings that a Provincial Tourism Officer should possess in accordance with the provisions of the National Tourism Code and the Civil Service Commission.

The lady board member also said that Buted committed misrepresentation when she alledged that she is qualified in the position and met all the required trainings while when scrutinized, the trainings mentioned in the Personal Data Sheet that she signed under oath did not meet the required number of hours enumerated in the Civil Service QS standards, and has not attended any of the trainings conducted by the Department of Tourism required to be attended.

She pointed out that she has high regard on the governor’s prerogative and leadership but she also believes that the governor will fully understand their action. 

“There are cases na nangungumusta ang ating mahal na governor sa mga programs and projects na inire-refer ng executive sa Sanggunian. Kapag sinasabi ko na ‘may mga kulang pa pong dokumento kaya di pa po maaksyunan ng Sanggunian’, ay maayos niyang sinasabi na ‘tama, at yan ay trabaho ninyo sa Sanggunian na pag-aralan at tiyaking kumpleto ang mga dokumento…” she continued.

BM Rivera fully subscribed to Magboo’s enumeration of disqualifications for the confirmation of Buted’s appointment.

On the other hand, Senior Board Member Ambida said that in addition to the reasons enumerated by BM Magboo, it is very clear that based on MC No. 04 S 2018 QS for the Tourism Operations Positions in the Local Government in relation to the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of R.A. No. 9593 which provides for the qualifications of the Tourism Officer position in the LGUs, the appointee should have “3. At least five (5) years of substantial work experience and involvement in the tourism industry either in the private sector or government…” among others.

“It is quite vague and unclear in establishing the 5 year work experience, yes a certification has been issued upon request of the applicant but the tourism related activities also was not reflected specifically on the IPCRs submitted by the applicant during her years as EA as confirmed by the HR. But admittedly, I just need to mention this but with all due respect, I will accept how it was justified by the HR representative but not necessarily also agreeing on it,” Ambida said.

“Second after the review of all the IPCRs in relation to establishing the 5 year work experience it was found out and confirmed by the HR that the applicant failed to submit IPCR Targets and Actual accomplishment despite the efforts of the department for the applicant to comply. This is from the minutes of the meeting of the Performance Management Team, October 28, 2022. This may not be directly related to the requirements of the CSC prior to the approval of the confirmation but this says a lot for the applicant is applying for the highest position in the department,” she continued.

It was confirmed by the HR that the Buted didn’t receive any performance bonus because of non-submission of IPCR as required.

On his part, BM De Veyra said, notwithstanding the trust and confidence of the governor in appointing Buted, the failure of the appointee to meet the required qualifications duly ascertained during the two committee hearings prompted him to vote NO for Buted’s confirmation.

The YES vote

Board Members Corona, Rosales, Blanco, Balba, Gozos and Lopez all said that Buted possesses all the qualifications required by law to be appointed as provincial Tourism Officer that merits their vote. 

BM Gozos also said that to his mind, the required trainings that were not met by the appointee may be attended even after the confirmation of the appointment.

“Mr. Presiding Officer, based on the studies and scrutiny conducted, I believe that Buted is qualified to the position; and that my vote is YES. Nevertheless, the final arbiter on this issue is the Civil Service Commision, whether or not the appointee is fully qualified to the position or not,” Corona said.

2 abstains

BM Bausas said that she was not able to attend the hearings due to conflict in her schedule, that’s why she abstained from either voting YES or NO.

On the other hand, BM Vidal who timely entered the hall when all of the present members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan have already casted their vote, asked the Presiding Officer the status of the voting before casting his vote. Afterwards, he said that he trust the appointing prerogative of the governor but due to some questions that were discussed during the hearing, he will abstain from voting YES or NO.

The Local Government Code provides that the appointment of the governor must be concurred by the majority vote of all the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. BM Mendoza who presides the session during the deliberation said that nine (9) votes are needed to be considered as majority vote to merit concurrence, reason why Buted missed the SP’s confirmation.| BALIKAS News

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