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Digest: Torio v. Civil Service Commission (209 SCRA 677, 1992)

Digest: Torio v. Civil Service Commission (209 SCRA 677, 1992)
G.R. No. 99336. June 9, 1992

Facts: These two consolidated petitions assail the resolutions of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) revoking the appointment of herein petitioners on the ground that they lacked the necessary civil service eligibility at the time of the issuance of their appointments.

Executive Order No. 285 issued on July 25, 1987 abolished the General Services Administration (GSA) including all offices and agencies under it. The General Printing Office (GPO) which was under the GSA was merged with the relevant printing units of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and out of the merger arose the National Printing Office (NPO) which was placed under the control and supervision of the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS). A new plantilla of personnel for the NPO was prepared and approved and the affected officers and employees continued to perform their respective duties and responsibilities in a hold-over capacity pending the implementation of the reorganization.

The petitioner in G.R. No. 99336, Melanio Torio, was the Chief of the Production Staff of the Printing Division, PIA, while the petitioner in G.R. No. 100178, Jaime Espanola, was a Bindery Foreman at the PIA. They continued discharging their functions in a hold-over capacity after the PIA was merged with the GSA. On March 1, 1988, in accordance with the new staffing pattern of the NPO, petitioner Torio was temporarily appointed as Assistant Operations Superintendent of Printing while petitioner Espanola was appointed as Temporary Supervising Book-binder. Both appointments lapsed on February 28, 1989. So on March 1, 1989, petitioner Torio was extended a renewal appointment which was likewise in a temporary capacity while petitioner Espanola was issued another appointment as Supervising Bookbinder with a permanent status. On the same date, Espanola was granted a testimonial eligibility.

the positions of both petitioners were upgraded—the Assistant Operations Superintendent of Printing was changed to Assistant Superintendent of Printing and the Supervising Bookbinder to Bookbinder IV. This time, another appointment was issued to Torio for the upgraded position together with his change of status from temporary to permanent. Espanola.

Prior to the appointments of the petitioners to the permanent items, protests were lodged with the CSC.

he CSC issued a resolution revoking the appointment of Torio and ordering those qualified, including Camacho, to be evaluated for the position. Subsequently, cancelling Espanola’s appointment and ordering the reappointment of Cangayda to the position. 

Issue: Whether or not the petitioners are qualified to be permanent

Ruling: Yes. The foregoing pronouncements of the CSC hold true only in-concerned. However, it must be noted that under Section 25 Presidential Decree 807 otherwise known as the Civil Service Decree of the Philippines, an appointee with a temporary status need not possess the civil service eligibility required by the position provided he meets the following qualifications: (1) it is necessary in the public interest to fill a vacancy; (2) there are no appropriate eligibles; (3) the temporary appointment shall not exceed twelve months; and (4) he may be replaced sooner if a qualified civil service eligible becomes available.

A permanent appointment is not a continuation of the temporary appointment—these are two distinct acts of the appointing authority. The fact that the appointees in the two appointments are one and the same person is purely incidental. Any irregularities in the former appointment are not to be automatically carried over to the latter. If the protest is directed against the temporary appointment, it would be illogical to carry-over the merits of the protest to the subsequent permanent appointment.

The preceding ruling should not be construed to mean, however, that by the mere expedient of appointing the temporary appointee to a permanent status, the appointing authority can deprive the protestant of an opportunity to question the appointment. First, the protestant is not precluded from filing another protest directed against the permanent appointment. Second, if it can be shown that the appointment was purposely done to moot the protest or is characterized by malice, then corrective action can be taken and, moreover, the erring officials can be proceeded against administratively.

It must be emphasized that if a protest filed against a temporary appointment is carried over to the subsequent permanent appointment to the same position of the same person, an anomalous situation will arise wherein the permanent appointee’s security to his position would be jeopardized by considerations outside of his permanent appointment.

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