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  Administrative Code of the Philippines:

    BOOK V 

    Title I

    CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSIONS 

    Subtitle A

    CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION 

    Chapter 1

    GENERAL PROVISIONS

     
        Sec. 1. Declaration of Policy. - The State shall insure and promote the Constitutional mandate that appointments in the Civil Service shall be made only according to merit and fitness; that the Civil Service Commission, as the central personnel agency of the Government shall establish a career service, adopt measures to promote morale, efficiency, integrity, responsiveness, and courtesy in the civil service, strengthen the merit and rewards system, integrate all human resources development programs for all levels and ranks, and institutionalize a management climate conducive to public accountability; that public office is a public trust and public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people; and that personnel functions shall be decentralized, delegating the corresponding authority to the departments, offices and agencies where such functions can be effectively performed.

        Sec. 2. Duties and Responsibilities of Public Officers and Employees. - Public Officers and employees shall have the duties, responsibilities, and accountability provided in Chapter 9, Book I of this Code.

        Sec. 3. Terms and Conditions of Employment. - The terms and conditions of employment of all government employees, including those in government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters, shall be fixed by law. The terms and conditions of employment which are not fixed by law may be the subject of negotiation between duly recognized employees' organizations and appropriate government authorities.

        Sec. 4. Compensation. - The Congress shall provide for the standardization of compensation of government officials and employees including those in government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters, taking into account the nature of the responsibilities pertaining to, and the qualifications required for the position concerned.

        Sec. 5. Definitions of Terms. - As used in this title, the following shall be construed thus:

        (1) Agency means any bureau, office, commission, administration, board, committee, institute, corporation with original charter, whether performing governmental or proprietary function, or any other unit of the National Government, as well as provincial, city or municipal government, except as hereinafter otherwise provided.

        (2) Appointing officer is the person or body authorized by law to make appointments in the Philippine Civil Service.

        (3) Class includes all positions in the government service that are sufficiently similar as to duties and responsibilities and require similar qualifications that can be given the same title and salary and for all administrative and compensation purposes, be treated alike.

        (4) Commission refers to the Civil Service Commission.

        (5) Chairman refers to the Chairman of the Commission.

        (6) Commissioner refers to either to the two other members of the Commission.

        (7) Department includes any of the executive departments or entities having the category of a department including the judiciary, Commission on Elections and Commission on Audit.

        (8) Eligible refers to a person who obtains a passing grade in a civil service examination or is granted a civil service eligibility and whose name is entered in the register of eligibles.

        (9) Examination refers to a civil service examination conducted by the Commission and its regional offices or by other departments or agencies with the assistance of the Commission, or in coordination or jointly with it, and those that it may delegate to departments and agencies pursuant to this Title, or those that may have been delegated by law.

        (10) Form refers to those prescribed by the Civil Service Commission.
     

    Chapter 2

    COVERAGE OF THE CIVIL SERVICE

     
        Sec. 6. Scope of the Civil Service. - (1) The Civil Service embraces all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities, and agencies of the Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters.

        (2) Positions in the Civil Service shall be classified into career service and non-career service.

        Sec. 7. Career Service. - The Career Service shall be characterized by (1) entrance based on merit and fitness to be determined as far as practicable by competitive examination, or based on highly technical qualifications; (2) opportunity for advancement to higher career positions; and (3) security of tenure.

        The Career Service shall include:

        (1) Open Career positions for appointment to which prior qualification in an appropriate examination is required;

        (2) Closed Career positions which are scientific, or highly technical in nature; these include the faculty and academic staff of state colleges and universities, and scientific and technical positions in scientific or research institutions which shall establish and maintain their own merit systems;

        (3) Positions in the Career Executive Service; namely, Undersecretary, Assistant Secretary, Bureau Director, Assistant Bureau Director, Regional Director, Assistant Regional Director, Chief of Department Service and other officers of equivalent rank as may be identified by the Career Executive Service Board, all of whom are appointed by the President;

        (4) Career officers, other than those in the Career Executive Service, who are appointed by the President, such as the Foreign Service Officers in the Department of Foreign Affairs;

        (5) Commissioned officers and enlisted men of the Armed Forces which shall maintain a separate merit system;

        (6) Personnel of government-owned or controlled corporations, whether performing governmental or proprietary functions, who do not fall under the non-career service; and

        (7) Permanent laborers, whether skilled, semi-skilled, or unskilled.

        Sec. 8. Classes of Positions in the Career Service. - (1) Classes of positions in the career service appointment to which requires examinations shall be grouped into three major levels as follows:

        (a) The first level shall include clerical, trades, crafts, and custodial service positions which involve non-professional or subprofessional work in a non-supervisory or supervisory capacity requiring less than four years of collegiate studies;

        (b) The second level shall include professional, technical, and scientific positions which involve professional, technical, or scientific work in a non-supervisory or supervisory capacity requiring at least four years of college work up to Division Chief level; and

        (c) The third level shall cover positions in the Career Executive Service.

        (2) Except as herein otherwise provided, entrance to the first two levels shall be through competitive examinations, which shall be open to those inside and outside the service who meet the minimum qualification requirements. Entrance to a higher level does not require previous qualification in the lower level. Entrance to the third level shall be prescribed by the Career Executive Service Board.

        (3) Within the same level, no civil service examination shall be required for promotion to a higher position in one or more related occupation groups. A candidate for promotion should, however, have previously passed the examination for that level.

        Sec. 9. Non-Career Service. - The Non-Career Service shall be characterized by (1) entrance on bases other than those of the usual tests of merit and fitness utilized for the career service; and (2) tenure which is limited to a period specified by law, or which is coterminous with that of the appointing authority or subject to his pleasure, or which is limited to the duration of a particular project for which purpose employment was made.
     
        The Non-Career Service shall include:

        (1) Elective officials and their personal or confidential staff;

        (2) Secretaries and other officials of Cabinet rank who hold their positions at the pleasure of the President and their personal or confidential staff(s);

        (3) Chairman and members of commissions and boards with fixed terms of office and their personal or confidential staff;

        (4) Contractual personnel or those whose employment in the government is in accordance with a special contract to undertake a specific work or job, requiring special or technical skills not available in the employing agency, to be accomplished within a specific period, which in no case shall exceed one year, and performs or accomplishes the specific work or job, under his own responsibility with a minimum of direction and supervision from the hiring agency; and

        (5) Emergency and seasonal personnel.
     

    Chapter 3

    ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONS

    OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION

     
        Sec. 10. Composition. - The Commission shall be composed of a Chairman and two Commissioners who shall be natural born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time of their appointment, at least thirty-five years of age, with proven capacity for public administration, and must not have been candidates for any elective position in the elections immediately preceding their appointment.

        Sec. 11. Appointment of Chairman and Commissioners. - The Chairman and the Commissioners shall be appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments for a term of seven years without reappointment. Of the first appointed, the Chairman shall hold office for seven years, a Commissioner for five years, and another Commissioner for three years, without reappointment. Appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpired term of the predecessor. In no case shall any Member be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity.

        Sec. 12. Powers and Functions. - The Commission shall have the following powers and functions:

        (1) Administer and enforce the constitutional and statutory provisions on the merit system for all levels and ranks in the Civil Service;

        (2) Prescribe, amend and enforce rules and regulations for carrying into effect the provisions of the Civil Service Law and other pertinent laws;

        (3) Promulgate policies, standards and guidelines for the Civil Service and adopt plans and programs to promote economical, efficient and effective personnel administration in the government;

        (4) Formulate policies and regulations for the administration, maintenance and implementation of position classification and compensation and set standards for the establishment, allocation and reallocation of pay scales, classes and positions;

        (5) Render opinion and rulings on all personnel and other Civil Service matters which shall be binding on all heads of departments, offices and agencies and which may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari;

        (6) Appoint and discipline its officials and employees in accordance with law and exercise control and supervision over the activities of the Commission;

        (7) Control, supervise and coordinate Civil Service examinations. Any entity or official in government may be called upon by the Commission to assist in the preparation and conduct of said examinations including security, use of buildings and facilities as well as personnel and transportation of examination materials which shall be exempt from inspection regulations;

        (8) Prescribe all forms for Civil Service examinations, appointments, reports and such other forms as may be required by law, rules and regulations:

        (9) Declare positions in the Civil Service as may properly be primarily confidential, highly technical or policy determining;

        (10) Formulate, administer and evaluate programs relative to the development and retention of qualified and competent work force in the public service;

        (11) Hear and decide administrative cases instituted by or brought before it directly or on appeal, including contested appointments, and review decisions and actions of its offices and of the agencies attached to it. Officials and employees who fail to comply with such decisions, orders, or rulings shall be liable for contempt of the Commission. Its decisions, orders, or rulings shall be final and executory. Such decisions, orders, or rulings may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party within thirty (30) days from receipt of a copy thereof;

        (12) Issue subpoena and subpoena duces tecum for the production of documents and records pertinent to investigation and inquiries conducted by it in accordance with its authority conferred by the Constitution and pertinent laws;

        (13) Advise the President on all matters involving personnel management in the government service and submit to the President an annual report on the personnel programs;

        (14) Take appropriate action on all appointments and other personnel matters in the Civil Service including extension of Service beyond retirement age;

        (15) Inspect and audit the personnel actions and programs of the departments, agencies, bureaus, offices, local government units and other instrumentalities of the government including government-owned or controlled corporations; conduct periodic review of the decisions and actions of offices or officials to whom authority has been delegated by the Commission as well as the conduct of the officials and the employees in these offices and apply appropriate sanctions when necessary;

        (16) Delegate authority for the performance of any functions to departments, agencies and offices where such functions may be effectively performed;

        (17) Administer the retirement program for government officials and employees, and accredit government services and evaluate qualifications for retirement;

        (18) Keep and maintain personnel records of all officials and employees in the Civil Service; and

        (19) Perform all functions properly belonging to a central personnel agency and such other functions as may be provided by law.

        Sec. 13. Duties and Responsibilities of the Chairman. - Subject to policies and rules adopted by the Commission, the Chairman shall:

        (1) Direct all operations of the Commission;

        (2) Establish procedures for the effective operations of the Commission;

        (3) Transmit to the President rules and regulations, and other guidelines adopted by the Chairman which require Presidential attention including annual and other periodic reports;

        (4) Issue appointments to, and enforce decisions on administrative discipline involving officials and employees of the Commission;

        (5) Delegate authority for the performance of any function to officials and employees of the Commission;

        (6) Approve and submit the annual and supplemental budget of the Commission; and

        (7) Perform such other functions as may be provided by law.

        Sec. 14. Membership of the Chairman in Boards. - The Chairman shall be a member of the Board of Directors or of other governing bodies of government entities whose functions affect the career development, employment status, rights, privileges, and welfare of government officials and employees, such as the Government Service Insurance System, Foreign Service Board, Foreign Trade Service Board, National Board for Teachers, and such other similar boards as may be created by law.

        Sec. 15. Duties and Responsibilities of the Members of the Commission. - Jointly with the Chairman, the two (2) Commissioners shall be responsible for the effective exercise of the rule-making and adjudicative functions of the Commission. They shall likewise perform such functions as may be delegated by the Commission. In case of the absence of the Chairman owing to illness or other cause, the senior member shall perform the functions of the Chairman.

        Sec. 16. Offices in the Commission. - The Commission shall have the following offices:

        (1) The Office of the Executive Director headed by an Executive Director, with a Deputy Executive Director shall implement policies, standards, rules and regulations promulgated by the Commission; coordinate the programs of the offices of the Commission and render periodic reports on their operations, and perform such other functions as may be assigned by the Commission.

        (2) The Merit System Protection Board composed of a Chairman and two (2) members shall have the following functions:

        (a) Hear and decide on appeal administrative cases involving officials and employees of the Civil Service. Its decision shall be final except those involving dismissal or separation from the service which may be appealed to the Commission;

        (b) Hear and decide cases brought before it on appeal by officials and employees who feel aggrieved by the determination of appointing authorities involving personnel actions and violations of the merit system. The decision of the Board shall be final except those involving division chiefs or officials of higher ranks which may be appealed to the Commission;

        (c) Directly take cognizance of complaints affecting functions of the Commission, those which are unacted upon by the agencies, and such other complaints which require direct action of the Board in the interest of justice;

        (d) Administer oaths, issue subpoena and subpoena duces tecum, take testimony in any investigation or inquiry, punish for contempt in accordance with the same procedures and penalties prescribed in the Rules of Court; and

        (e) Promulgate rules and regulations to carry out the functions of the Board subject to the approval of the Commission.

        (3) The Office of Legal Affairs shall provide the Chairman with legal advice and assistance; render counselling services; undertake legal studies and researches; prepare opinions and rulings in the interpretation and application of the Civil Service law, rules and regulations; prosecute violations of such law, rules and regulations; and represent the Commission before any Court or tribunal.

        (4) The Office of Planning and Management shall formulate development plans, programs and projects; undertake research and studies on the different aspects of public personnel management; administer management improvement programs; and provide fiscal and budgetary services.

        (5) The Central Administrative Office shall provide the Commission with personnel, financial, logistics and other basic support services.

        (6) The Office of Central Personnel Records shall formulate and implement policies, standards, rules and regulations pertaining to personnel records maintenance, security, control and disposal; provide storage and extension services; and provide and maintain library services.

        (7) The Office of Position Classification and Compensation shall formulate and implement policies, standards, rules and regulations relative to the administration of position classification and compensation.

        (8) The Office of Recruitment, Examination and Placement shall provide leadership and assistance in developing and implementing the overall Commission programs relating to recruitment, examination and placement, and formulate policies, standards, rules and regulations for the proper implementation of the Commission's examination and placement programs.

        (9) The Office of Career Systems and Standards shall provide leadership and assistance in the formulation and evaluation of personnel systems and standards relative to performance appraisal, merit promotion, and employee incentive benefits and awards.

        (10) The Office of Human Resource Development shall provide leadership and assistance in the development and retention of qualified and efficient work force in the Civil Service; formulate standards for training and staff development; administer service-wide scholarship programs; develop training literature and materials; coordinate and integrate all training activities and evaluate training programs.

        (11) The Office of Personnel Inspection and Audit shall develop policies, standards, rules and regulations for the effective conduct or inspection and audit of personnel and personnel management programs and the exercise of delegated authority; provide technical and advisory services to civil Service Regional Offices and government agencies in the implementation of their personnel programs and evaluation systems.

        (12) The Office of Personnel Relations shall provide leadership and assistance in the development and implementation of policies, standards, rules and regulations in the accreditation of employee associations or organizations and in the adjustment and settlement of employee grievances and management of employee disputes.

        (13) The Office of Corporate Affairs shall formulate and implement policies, standards, rules and regulations governing corporate officials and employees in the areas of recruitment, examination, placement, career development, merit and awards systems, position classification and compensation, performing appraisal, employee welfare and benefits, discipline and other aspects of personnel management on the basis of comparable industry practices.

        (14) The Office of Retirement Administration shall be responsible for the enforcement of the constitutional and statutory provisions, relative to retirement and the regulation for the effective implementation of the retirement of government officials and employees.

        (15) The Regional and Field Offices. - The Commission shall have not less than thirteen (13) Regional offices each to be headed by a Director, and such field offices as may be needed, each to be headed by an official with at least the rank of an Assistant Director. Each Regional Office shall have the following functions:

        (a) Enforce Civil Service law and rules, policies, standards on personnel management within their respective jurisdiction;

        (b) Provide technical advice and assistance to government offices and agencies regarding personnel administration; and

        (c) Perform such other functions as may be delegated by the Commission.

        Sec. 17. Organizational Structure. - Each office of the Commission shall be headed by a Director with at least one (1) Assistant Director, and may have such divisions as are necessary to carry out their respective functions. As an independent constitutional body, the Commission may effect changes in the organization as the need arises.
     

    Chapter 4

    INTERDEPARTMENT RELATIONS

     
        Sec. 18. Civil Service Assistance to Department and Agencies. - Each Secretary or head of office, agency, government-owned or controlled corporation with original charter and local government shall be responsible for personnel administration in his office which shall be in accordance with the provision relating to civil service embodied in the Constitution, this Title and the rules, principles, standards, guidelines and regulations established by the Commission. The Civil Service Commission shall, whenever it deems it in the interest of the public service, organize in each department, office, agency, government-owned or controlled corporation, and provincial and city government a Civil Service Staff which shall be headed by an officer of the Commission. The necessary staff personnel and office facilities and equipment shall be provided by the department, government-owned or controlled corporation or local government where the staff is established but the Commission may augment these with its own. The Staff shall serve as the principal liaison between the Civil Service and Department concerned and shall perform the following specific functions and those functions which may hereafter be assigned to it by the Commission.

        (1) Provide technical assistance in all aspects of personnel management;

        (2) Monitor and audit periodically the personnel practices and performance of the Department or agency concerned as well as those of public officers and employees thereat;

        (3) Determine agency compliance with Civil Service Law and rules; and

        (4) In the performance of these functions, the staff shall welcome and receive from the public any suggestions, observations and complaints pertaining to the conduct of public officers and employees.

        In the performance of their functions, the units so organized shall avail of the technical assistance and guidelines of the Civil Service Commission.

        Sec. 19. Council of Personnel Officers. - There shall be a Council of Personnel Officers to be composed of Chief personnel officers of the different executive departments and of agencies with the category of department that the Chairman of the Commission shall select for membership. Except for its Executive Officer who shall be designated by the Chairman from among the appropriate officials in the Civil Service Commission, the Council is authorized to elect such other officers from among its members and to fix its own rules or procedures concerning attendance at meetings, approval of policy declaration, and other business matters. Provisions for necessary facilities and clerical assistance for the Council shall be made in the annual budget of the Commission.

        The Council shall have the following functions:

        (1) Offer advice, upon request of the Secretary of a Department or the Commission, in developing constructive policies, standards, procedures, and programs as well as on matters relating to the improvement of personnel methods and to the solution of personnel problems confronting the various departments and agencies of the government;

        (2) Promote among the departments and agencies, through study and discussion, uniform and consistent interpretation and application of personnel policies; and

        (3) Serve as a clearing house of information and stimulate the use of methods of personnel management that will contribute most to good government.

        Sec. 20. Inspection and Audit. - The Commission, through its designated representatives, shall conduct a periodic inspection and audit of the personnel management program of each department, agency, province or city, in order to: (a) determine compliance with the Civil Service law, rules and standards; (b) review discharge of delegated authority; (c) make an adequate evaluation of the progress made and problems encountered in the conduct of the merit system in the national and local governments; (d) give advice and provide assistance in developing constructive policies, standards and procedures, and (e) stimulate improvement in all areas of personnel management.

        Periodic inspection and audit will include an appraisal of personnel management operations and activities relative to: (a) formulation and issuance of personnel policy; (b) recruitment and selection of employees; (c) personnel action and employment status; (d) career and employee development; (e) performance evaluation system; (f) employee suggestions and incentive award; (g) employee relations and services; (h) discipline; (i) personnel records and reporting; and (j) programs evaluation.
     

    Chapter 5

    PERSONNEL POLICIES AND STANDARDS

     
        Sec. 21. Recruitment and Selection of Employees. - (1) Opportunity for government employment shall be open to all qualified citizens and positive efforts shall be exerted to attract the best qualified to enter the service. Employees shall be selected on the basis of fitness to perform the duties and assume the responsibilities of the positions.

        (2) When a vacancy occurs in a position in the first level of the Career Service as defined in Section 6, the employees in the department who occupy the next lower positions in the occupational group under which the vacant position is classified, and in other functionally related occupational groups and who are competent, qualified and with the appropriate civil service eligibility shall be considered for promotion.

        (3) When a vacancy occurs in a position in the second level of the Career Service as defined in Section 8, the employees in the government service who occupy the next lower positions in the occupational group under which the vacant position is classified and in other functionally related occupational groups and who are competent, qualified and with the appropriate civil service eligibility shall be considered for promotion.

        (4) For purposes of this Section, each department or agency shall evolve its own screening process, which may include tests of fitness, in accordance with standards and guidelines set by the Commission. Promotion boards shall be formed to formulate criteria for evaluation, conduct tests or interviews, and make systematic assessment of training experience.

        (5) If the vacancy is not filled by promotion as provided herein the same shall be filled by transfer of present employees in the government service, by reinstatement, by re-employment of persons separated through reduction in force, or by appointment of persons with the civil service eligibility appropriate to the positions.

        (6) A qualified next-in-rank employee shall have the right to appeal initially to the Secretaries or heads of agencies or instrumentalities including government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters, then to the Merit System Protection Board, and finally to the Civil Service Commission an appointment made in favor of another employee if the appellant is not satisfied with the written special reason or reason given by the appointing authority for such appointment; Provided, however, that the decision of the Civil Service Commission may be reviewed on certiorari only by the Supreme Court within thirty (30) days from receipt of the decision of the aggrieved party. For purposes of this Section, "qualified next-in-rank" refers to an employee appointed on a permanent basis to a position previously determined to be next-in-rank and who meets the requirements for appointment thereto as previously determined by the appointing authority and approved by the Commission.

        (7) Qualification in an appropriate examination shall be required for appointment to positions in the first and second levels in the career service in accordance with the Civil Service rules, except as otherwise provided in this Title: Provided, That whenever there is a civil service eligible actually available for appointment, no person who is not such an eligible shall be appointed even in a temporary capacity to any vacant position in the career service in the government or in any government-owned or controlled corporation with original charter, except when the immediate filling of the vacancy is urgently required in the public interest, or when the vacancy is not permanent, in which cases temporary appointments of non-eligibles may be made in the absence of eligibles actually and immediately available.

        (8) The appropriate examinations herein referred to shall be those given by the Commission and the different agencies: Provided, however, That nothing herein shall affect those eligibilities acquired prior to the effectivity of this Civil Service Law: Provided, further, That a person with a civil service eligibility acquired by successfully passing an examination shall be qualified for a position requiring a lower eligibility if he possesses the other requirements for appointments to such position.

        Sec. 22. Qualification Standards. - (1) A qualification standard expresses the minimum requirements for a class of positions in terms of education, training and experience, civil service eligibility, physical fitness, and other qualities required for successful performance. The degree of qualifications of an officer or employee shall be determined by the appointing authority on the basis of the qualification standard for the particular position.

        Qualification standards shall be used as basis for civil service examinations for positions in the career service, as guides in appointment and other personnel actions, in the adjudication of protested appointments, in determining training needs, and as aid in the inspection and audit of the agencies personnel work programs.

        It shall be administered in such manner as to continually provide incentives to officers and employees towards professional growth and foster the career system in the government service.

        (2) The establishment, administration and maintenance of qualification standards shall be the responsibility of the department or agency, with the assistance and approval of the Civil Service Commission and in consultation with the Wage and Position Classification Office.

        Sec. 23. Release of Examination Results. - The results of any particular civil service examination held in a number of places on the same date shall be released simultaneously.

        Sec. 24. Register of Eligibles. - The names of the competitors who pass an examination shall be entered in a register of eligibles arranged in the order of their general ratings and containing such information as the Commission may deem necessary.

        Sec. 25. Cultural Communities. - In line with the national policy to facilitate the integration of the members of cultural communities and accelerate the development of the areas occupied by them, the Commission shall give special civil service examinations to qualify them for appointment in the civil service.

        Sec. 26. Personnel Actions. - All appointments in the career service shall be made only according to merit and fitness, to be determined as far as practicable by competitive examinations. A non-eligible shall not be appointed to any position in the civil service whenever there is a civil service eligible actually available for and ready to accept appointment.

        As used in this Title, any action denoting the movement or progress of personnel in the civil service shall be known as personnel action. Such action shall include appointment through certification, promotion, transfer, reinstatement, re-employment, detail, reassignment, demotion, and separation. All personnel actions shall be in accordance with such rules, standards, and regulations as may be promulgated by the Commission.

        (1) Appointment through certification. An appointment through certification to a position in the civil service, except as herein otherwise provided, shall be issued to a person who has been selected from a list of qualified persons certified by the Commission from an appropriate register of eligibles, and who meets all the other requirements of the position.

        All such persons must serve a probationary period of six months following their original appointment and shall undergo a thorough character investigation in order to acquire permanent civil service status. A probationer may be dropped from the service for unsatisfactory conduct or want of capacity any time before the expiration of the probationary period: Provided, That such action is appealable to the Commission.

        (2) Promotion. A promotion is a movement from one position to another with an increase in duties and responsibilities as authorized by law and usually accompanied by an increase in pay. The movement may be from one department or agency to another, or from one organizational unit to another in the same department or agency.

        (3) Transfer. A transfer is a movement from one position to another which is of equivalent rank, level, or salary without break in service involving the issuance of an appointment.

        It shall not be considered disciplinary when made in the interest of public service, in which case, the employee concerned shall be informed of the reasons therefor. If the employee believes that there is no justification for the transfer, he may appeals his case to the Commission.

        The transfer may be from one department or agency to another or from one organizational unit to another in the same department or agency: Provided, however, That any movement from the non-career service to the career service shall not be considered a transfer.

        (4) Reinstatement. Any person who has been permanently appointed to a position in the career service and who has, through no delinquence or misconduct, been separated therefrom, may be reinstated to a position in the same level for which he is qualified.

        (5) Reemployment. Names of persons who have been appointed permanently to positions in the career service and who have been separated as a result of reduction in force or reorganization, shall be entered in a list from which selection for reemployment shall be made.

        (6) Detail. A detail is the movement of an employee from one agency to another without the issuance of an appointment and shall be allowed, only for a limited period in the case of employees occupying professional, technical and scientific positions. If the employee believes that there is no justification for the detail, he may appeal his case to the Commission. Pending appeal, the decision to detail the employee shall be executory unless otherwise ordered by the Commission.

        (7) Reassignment. An employee may be reassigned from one organizational unit to another in the same agency: Provided, That such reassignment shall not involve a reduction in rank, status or salary.

        Sec. 27. Employment Status. - Appointment in the career service shall be permanent or temporary.

        (1) Permanent status. A permanent appointment shall be issued to a person who meets all the requirements for the positions to which he is being appointed, including the appropriate eligibility prescribed, in accordance with the provisions of law, rules and standards promulgated in pursuance thereof.

        (2) Temporary appointment. In the absence of appropriate eligibles and it becomes necessary in the public interest to fill a vacancy, a temporary appointment shall be issued to a person who meets all the requirements for the position to which he is being appointed except the appropriate civil service eligibility: Provided, That such temporary appointment shall not exceed twelve months, but the appointee may be replaced sooner if a qualified civil service eligible becomes available.

        Sec. 28. Salary increase or Adjustment. - Adjustments in salaries as a result of increase in pay levels or upgrading of positions which do not involve a change in qualification requirements shall not require new appointments except that copies of the salary adjustment notices shall be submitted to the Commission for record purposes.

        Sec. 29. Reduction in Force. - Whenever it becomes necessary because of lack of work or funds or due to a change in the scope or nature of an agency's program, or as a result of reorganization, to reduce the staff of any department or agency, those in the same group or class of positions in one or more agencies within the particular department or agency wherein the reduction is to be effected, shall be reasonably compared in terms of relative fitness, efficiency and length of service, and those found to be least qualified for the remaining positions shall be laid off.

        Sec. 30. Career and Personnel Development. - The development and retention of a competent and efficient work force in the public service is a primary concern of government. It shall be the policy of the government that a continuing program of career and personnel development be established for all government employees at all levels. An integrated national plan for career and personnel development shall serve as the basis for all career and personnel development activities in the government.

        Sec. 31. Career and Personnel Development Plans. - Each department or agency shall prepare a career and personnel development plan which shall be integrated into a national plan by the Commission. Such career and personnel development plans which shall include provisions on merit promotions, performance evaluation, in-service training, including overseas and local scholarships and training grants, job rotation, suggestions and incentive award systems, and such other provisions for employees' health, welfare, counseling, recreation and similar services.

        Sec. 32. Merit Promotion Plans. - Each department or agency shall establish promotion plans which shall be administered in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Service law and the rules, regulations and standards to be promulgated by the Commission. Such plans shall include provisions for a definite screening process, which may include tests of fitness, in accordance with standards and guidelines set by the Commission. Promotion Boards may be organized subject to criteria drawn by the Commission.

        Sec. 33. Performance Evaluation System. - There shall be established a performance evaluation system, which shall be administered in accordance with rules, regulations and standards, promulgated by the Commission for all officers and employees in the career service. Such performance evaluation system shall be administered in such manner as to continually foster the improvement of individual employee efficiency and organizational effectiveness.

        Each department or agency may, after consultation with the Commission, establish and use one or more performance evaluation plans appropriate to the various groups of positions in the department or agency concerned. No performance evaluation shall be given, or used as a basis for personnel action, except under an approved performance evaluation plan: Provided, That each employee shall be informed periodically by his supervisor of his performance evaluation.

        Sec. 34. Responsibility for Training. - The Commission shall be responsible for the coordination and integration of a continuing program of personnel development for all government personnel in the first and second levels.

        Central staff agencies and specialized institutes shall conduct continuing centralized training for staff specialists from the different agencies. However, in those cases where there is sufficient number of participants to warrant training at department or agency or local government levels, such central staff agencies and specialized institutes shall render the necessary assistance, and consultative services.

        To avoid duplication of effort and overlapping of training functions, the following functional responsibilities are assigned:

        (1) Public and private colleges and universities and similar institutions shall be encouraged to organize and carry out continuing programs of executive development.

        (2) The Commission, the Commission on Audit, the Department of Budget and Management, the General Services Administration, and other central staff agencies shall conduct centralized training and assist in the training program of the Departments or agencies along their respective functional areas of specialization.

        (3) In coordination with the Commission, the Department of Local Government and Community Development shall undertake local government training programs.

        (4) In coordination with the Commission, each department or agency, province or city shall establish, maintain and promote a systematic plan of action for personnel training at all levels in accordance with standards laid down by the Commission. It shall maintain appropriate training staffs and make full use of available training facilities.

        Whenever it deems it necessary, the Commission shall take the initiative in undertaking programs for personnel development.

        Sec. 35. Employee Suggestions and incentive Award System. - There shall be established a government-wide employee suggestions and incentive awards system which shall be administered under such rules, regulations, and standards as may be promulgated by the Commission.

        In accordance with rules, regulations, and standards promulgated by the Commission, the President or the head of each department or agency is authorized to incur whatever necessary expenses involved in the honorary recognition of subordinate officers and employees of the government who by their suggestions, inventions, superior accomplishment, and other personal efforts contribute to the efficiency, economy, or other improvement of government operations, or who perform such other extraordinary acts or services in the public interest in connection with, or in relation to, their official employment.

        Sec. 36. Personnel Relations. - (1) It shall be the concern of the Commission to provide leadership and assistance in developing employee relations programs in the department or agencies.

        (2) Every Secretary or head of agency shall take all proper steps toward the creation of an atmosphere conducive to good supervisor-employee relations and the improvement of employee morale.

        Sec. 37. Complaints and Grievances. - Employees shall have the right to present their complaints or grievances to management and have them adjudicated as expeditiously as possible in the best interest of the agency, the government as a whole, and the employee concerned. Such complaint or grievances shall be resolved at the lowest possible level in the department or agency, as the case may be, and the employee shall have the right to appeal such decision to higher authorities.

        Each department or agency shall promulgate rules and regulations governing expeditious, fair and equitable adjustment of employees' complaints or grievances in accordance with the policies enunciated by the Commission.

        In case any dispute remains unresolved after exhausting all the available remedies under existing laws and procedures, the parties may jointly refer the dispute to the Public Sector Labor Management Council constituted under section 46, for appropriate action.
     

    Chapter 6

    RIGHT TO SELF-ORGANIZATION

     
        Sec. 38. Coverage. - (1) All government employees, including those in government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters, can form, join or assist employees' organizations of their own choosing for the furtherance and protection of their interests. They can also form, in conjunction with appropriate government authorities, labor-management committees, work councils and other forms of workers' participation schemes to achieve the same objectives.

        (2) The provisions of this Chapter shall not apply to the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, including police officers, policemen, firemen and jail guards.

        Sec. 39. Ineligibility of High-Level Employees to Join Rank-and-File Employees' Organization. - High-level employees whose functions are normally considered as policy-making or managerial or whose duties are of a highly confidential nature shall not be eligible to join the organization of rank-and-file government employees.

        Sec. 40. Protection of the Right to Organize. - (1) Government employees shall not be discriminated against in respect of their employment by reason of their membership in employees' organizations or participation in the normal activities of their organizations. Their employment shall not be subject to the condition that they shall not join or shall relinquish their membership in the employees' organizations.

        (2) Government authorities shall not interfere in the establishment, functioning or administration of government employees' organizations through acts designed to place such organizations under the control of government authority.

        Sec. 41. Registration of Employees' Organization. - Government employees' organizations shall register with the Civil Service Commission at the Department of Labor and Employment. The application shall be filed with the Bureau of Labor Relations of the Department which shall process the same in accordance with the provisions of the Labor Code of the Philippines. Applications may also be filed with the Regional Offices of the Department of Labor and Employment which shall immediately transmit the said applications to the Bureau of Labor Relations within three (3) days from receipt thereof.

        Sec. 42. Certificate of Registration. - Upon arrival of the application, a registration certificate shall be issued to the organization recognizing it as a legitimate employees' organization with the right to represent its members and undertake activities to further and defend its interests. The corresponding certificates of registration shall be jointly approved by the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission and the Secretary of Labor and Employment.

        Sec. 43. Appropriate Organization Unit. - The appropriate organizational unit shall be the employer's unit consisting of rank-and-file employees unless circumstances otherwise require.

        Sec. 44. Sole and Exclusive Employees' Representatives. - (1) The duly registered employees' organization having the support of the majority of the employees in the appropriate organizational unit shall be designated as the sole and exclusive representative of the employees.

        (2) A duly registered employees' organization shall be accorded voluntary recognition upon a showing that no other employees' organization is registered or is seeking registration, based on the records of the Bureau of Labor Relations, and that the said organization has the majority support of the rank-and-file employees in the organizational unit.

        (3) Where there are two or more duly registered employees' organizations in the appropriate organizational unit, the Bureau of Labor Relations shall, upon petition, order the conduct of a certification election and shall certify the winner as the exclusive representative of the rank-and-file employees in said organizational unit.

        Sec. 45. The Public Sector Labor-Management Council. - A Public Sector Labor-Management Council is hereby constituted to be composed of the following: The Chairman of the Civil Service Commission, as Chairman; the Secretary of Labor and Employment, as Vice-Chairman; and the Secretary of Finance, the Secretary of Justice and the Secretary of Budget and Management, as members.

        The Council shall implement administer the provisions of this Chapter. For this purpose, the Council shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations to implement this Chapter.

        Sec. 46. Discipline: General Provisions. - (a) No officer or employee in the Civil Service shall be suspended or dismissed except for cause as provided by law and after due process.

        (b) The following shall be grounds for disciplinary action:

        (1) Dishonesty;

        (2) Oppression;

        (3) Neglect of duty;

        (4) Misconduct;

        (5) Disgraceful and immoral conduct;

        (6) Being notoriously undesirable;

        (7) Discourtesy in the course of official duties;

        (8) Inefficiency and incompetence in the performance of official duties;

        (9) Receiving for personal use of a fee, gift or other valuable thing in the course of official duties or in connection therewith when such fee, gift, or other valuable thing is given by any person in the hope or expectation of receiving favor or better treatment than that accorded other persons, or committing acts punishable under the anti-graft laws;

        (10) Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude;

        (11) Improper or unauthorized solicitation of contributions from subordinate employees and by teachers or school officials from school children;

        (12) Violation of existing Civil Service Law and rules or reasonable office regulations;

        (13) Falsification of official document;

        (14) Frequent unauthorized absences or tardiness in reporting for duty, loafing or frequently unauthorized absence from duty during regular office hours;

        (15) Habitual drunkenness;

        (16) Gambling prohibited by law;

        (17) Refusal to perform official duty or render overtime service;

        (18) Disgraceful, immoral or dishonest conduct prior to entering the service;

        (19) Physical or mental incapacity or disability due to immoral or vicious habits;

        (20) Borrowing money by superior officers from subordinates or lending by subordinates to superior officers;

        (21) Lending money at usurious rates or interest;

        (22) Willful failure to pay just debts or willful failure to pay taxes due to the government;

        (23) Contracting loans of money or other property from persons with whom the office of the employee concerned has business relations;

        (24) Pursuit of private business, vocation or profession without the permission required by Civil Service rules and regulations;

        (25) Insubordination;

        (26) Engaging directly or indirectly in partisan political activities by one holding a non-political office;

        (27) Conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service;

        (28) Lobbying for personal interest or gain in legislative halls and offices without authority;
     
        (29) Promoting the sale of tickets in behalf of private enterprises that are not intended for charitable or public welfare purposes and even in the latter cases if there is no prior authority;

        (30) Nepotism as defined in Section 60 of this Title.

        (c) Except when initiated by the disciplining authority, no complaint against a civil service official or employee shall be given due course unless the same is in writing and subscribed and sworn to by the complainant.

        (d) In meeting out punishment, the same penalties shall be imposed for similar offenses and only one penalty shall be imposed in each case. The disciplining authority may impose the penalty of removal from the service, demotion in rank, suspension for not more than one year without pay, fine in an amount not exceeding six months' salary, or reprimand.

        Sec. 47. Disciplinary Jurisdiction. - (1) The Commission shall decide upon appeal all administrative disciplinary cases involving the imposition of a penalty of suspension for more than thirty days, or fine in an amount exceeding thirty days' salary, demotion in rank or salary or transfer, removal or dismissal from office. A complaint may be filed directly with the Commission by a private citizen against a government official or employee in which case it may hear and decide the case or it may deputize any department or agency or official or group of officials to conduct the investigation. The results of the investigation shall be submitted to the Commission with recommendation as to the penalty to be imposed or other action to be taken.

        (2) The Secretaries and heads of agencies and instrumentalities, provinces, cities and municipalities shall have jurisdiction to investigate and decide matters involving disciplinary action against officers and employees under their jurisdiction. Their decisions shall be final in case the penalty imposed is suspension for not more than thirty days or fine in an amount not exceeding thirty days', salary. In case the decision rendered by a bureau or office head is appealable to the Commission, the same may be initially appealed to the department and finally to the Commission and pending appeal, the same shall be executory except when the penalty is removal, in which case the same shall be executory only after confirmation by the Secretary concerned.

        (3) An investigation may be entrusted to regional director or similar officials who shall make the necessary report and recommendation to the chief of bureau or office or department within the period specified in Paragraph (4) of the following Section.

        (4) An appeal shall not stop the decision from being executory, and in case the penalty is suspension or removal, the respondent shall be considered as having been under preventive suspension during the pendency of the appeal in the event he wins an appeal.

        Sec. 48. Procedure in Administrative Cases Against Non-Presidential Appointees. - (1) Administrative proceedings may be commenced against a subordinate officer or employee by the Secretary or head of office of equivalent rank, or head of local government, or chiefs of agencies, or regional directors, or upon sworn, written complaint of any other person.

        (2) In the case of a complaint filed by any other persons, the complainant shall submit sworn statements covering his testimony and those of his witnesses together with his documentary evidence. If on the basis of such papers a prima facie case is found not to exist, the disciplining authority shall dismiss the case. If a prima facie case exists, he shall notify the respondent in writing, of the charges against the latter, to which shall be attached copies of the complaint, sworn statements and other documents submitted, and the respondent shall be allowed not less than seventy-two hours after receipt of the complaint to answer the charges in writing under oath, together with supporting sworn statements and documents, in which he shall indicate whether or not he elects a formal investigation if his answer is not considered satisfactory. If the answer is found satisfactory, the disciplining authority shall dismiss the case.

        (3) Although a respondent does not request a formal investigation, one shall nevertheless be conducted when from the allegations of the complaint and the answer of the respondent, including the supporting documents, the merits of the case cannot be decided judiciously without conducting such an investigation.

        (4) The investigation shall be held not earlier than five days nor later than ten days from the date of receipt of respondent's answer by the disciplining authority, and shall be finished within thirty days from the filing of the charges, unless the period is extended by the Commission in meritorious cases. The decision shall be rendered by the disciplining authority within thirty days from the termination of the investigation or submission of the report of the investigator, which report shall be submitted within fifteen days from the conclusion of the investigation.

        (5) The direct evidence for the complainant and the respondent shall consist of the sworn statement and documents submitted in support of the complaint or answer, as the case may be, without prejudice to the presentation of additional evidence deemed necessary but was unavailable at the time of the filing of the complaint or answer, upon which the cross-examination, by respondent and the complainant, respectively, shall be based. Following cross-examination, there may be redirect and recross-examination.

        (6) Either party may avail himself of the services of counsel and may require the attendance of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence in his favor through the compulsory process of subpoena or subpoena duces tecum.

        (7) The investigation shall be conducted only for the purpose of ascertaining the truth and without necessarily adhering to technical rules applicable in judicial proceedings. It shall be conducted by the disciplining authority concerned or his authorized representative.

        The phrase "any other party" shall be understood to be a complainant other than those referred to in subsection (a) hereof.

        Sec. 49. Appeals. - (1) Appeals, where allowable, shall be made by the party adversely affected by the decision within fifteen days from receipt of the decision unless a petition for reconsideration is seasonably filed, which petition shall be decided within fifteen days. Notice of the appeal shall be filed with the disciplining office, which shall forward the records of the case, together with the notice of appeal, to the appellate authority within fifteen days from filing of the notice of appeal, with its comment, if any. The notice of appeal shall specifically state the date of the decision appealed from and the date of receipt thereof. It shall also specifically set forth clearly the grounds relied upon for excepting from the decision.

        (2) A petition for reconsideration shall be based only on any of the following grounds: (a) new evidence has been discovered which materially affects the decision rendered; (b) the decision is not supported by the evidence on record; or (c) error of law or irregularities have been committed which are prejudicial to the interest of the respondent: Provided, That only one petition for reconsideration shall be entertained.

        Sec. 50. Summary Proceedings. - No formal investigation is necessary and the respondent may be immediately removed or dismissed if any of the following circumstances is present:

        (1) When the charge is serious and the evidence of guilt is strong;

        (2) When the respondent is a recividist or has been repeatedly charged and there is reasonable ground to believe that he is guilty of the present charge; and

        (3) When the respondent is notoriously undesirable.

        Resort to summary proceedings by the disciplining authority shall be done with utmost objectivity and impartiality to the end that no injustice is committed: Provided, That removal or dismissal except those by the President, himself or upon his order, may be appealed to the Commission.

        Sec. 51. Preventive Suspension. - The proper disciplining authority may preventively suspend any subordinate officer or employee under his authority pending an investigation, if the charge against such officer or employee involves dishonesty, oppression or grave misconduct, or neglect in the performance of duty, or if there are reasons to believe that the respondent is guilty of charges which would warrant his removal from the service.

        Sec. 52. Lifting of Preventive Suspension Pending Administrative Investigation. - When the administrative case against the officer or employee under preventive suspension is not finally decided by the disciplining authority within the period of ninety (90) days after the date of suspension of the respondent who is not a presidential appointee, the respondent shall be automatically reinstated in the service: Provided, That when the delay in the disposition of the case is due to the fault, negligence or petition of the respondent, the period of delay shall not be counted in computing the period of suspension herein provided.

        Sec. 53. Removal of Administrative Penalties or Disabilities. - In meritorious cases and upon recommendation of the Commission, the President may commute or remove administrative penalties or disabilities imposed upon officers or employees in disciplinary cases, subject to such terms and conditions as he may impose in the interest of the service.
     

    Chapter 7

    PROHIBITIONS

     
        Sec. 54. Limitation on Appointment. - (1) No elective official shall be eligible for appointment or designation in any capacity to any public office or position during his tenure.

        (2) No candidate who has lost in any election shall, within one year after election, be appointed to any office in the Government or any government-owned or controlled corporations or in any of its subsidiaries.

        (3) Unless otherwise allowed by law or by the primary functions of his position, no appointive official shall hold any other office or employment in the Government or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries.

        Sec. 55. Political Activity. - No officer or employee in the Civil Service including members of the Armed Forces, shall engage directly or indirectly in any partisan political activity or take part in any election except to vote nor shall he use his official authority or influence to coerce the political activity of any other person or body. Nothing herein provided shall be understood to prevent any officer or employee from expressing his views on current political problems or issues, or from mentioning the names of candidates for public office whom he supports: Provided, That public officers and employees holding political offices may take part in political and electoral activities but it shall be unlawful for them to solicit contributions from their subordinates or subject them to any of the acts involving subordinates prohibited in the Election Code.

        Sec. 56. Additional or Double Compensation. - No elective or appointive public officer or employee shall receive additional or double compensation unless specifically authorized by law nor accept without the consent of the President, any present, emolument, office, or title of any kind from any foreign state.

        Pensions and gratuities shall not be considered as additional, double, or indirect compensation.

        Sec. 57. Limitations on Employment of Laborers. - Laborers, whether skilled, semi-skilled or unskilled, shall not be assigned to perform clerical duties.

        Sec. 58. Prohibition on Detail or Reassignment. - No detail or reassignment whatever shall be made within three (3) months before any election.

        Sec. 59. Nepotism. - (1) All appointments in the national, provincial, city and municipal governments or in any branch or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations, made in favor of a relative of the appointing or recommending authority, or of the chief of the bureau or office, or of the persons exercising immediate supervision over him, are hereby prohibited.

        As used in this Section, the word "relative" and members of the family referred to are those related within the third degree either or consanguinity or of affinity.

        (2) The following are exempted from the operation of the rules on nepotism: (a) persons employed in a confidential capacity, (b) teachers, (c) physicians, and (d) members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines: Provided, however, That in each particular instance full report of such appointment shall be made to the Commission.

        The restriction mentioned in subsection (1) shall not be applicable to the case of a member of any family who, after his or her appointment to any position in an office or bureau, contracts marriage with someone in the same office or bureau, in which event the employment or retention therein of both husband and wife may be allowed.

        (3) In order to give immediate effect to these provisions, cases of previous appointments which are in contravention hereof shall be corrected by transfer, and pending such transfer, no promotion or salary increase shall be allowed in favor of the relative or relatives who are appointed in violation of these provisions.
     

    Chapter 8

    LEAVE OF ABSENCE

     
        Sec. 60. Leave of Absence. - Officers and employees in the Civil Service shall be entitled to leave of absence, with or without pay, as may be provided by law and the rules and regulations of the Civil Service Commission in the interest of the service.
     

    Chapter 9

    MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

     
        Sec. 61. Examining Committee, Special Examiners and Special Investigators. - Subject to approval by the proper head of a department or agency, the Commission may select suitable persons in the government service to act as members of examining committees, special examiners or special investigators. Such persons shall be designated examiners or investigators of the Commission and shall perform such duties as the Commission may require, and in the performance of such duties they shall be under its exclusive control. Examining committees, special examiners or special investigators so designated may be given allowances or per diems for their services, to be paid out of the funds of, and at a rate to be determined by, the Commission.

        Sec. 62. Fees. - The Commission shall collect and charge fees for civil service examinations, certifications of civil service ratings, service records, and other civil service matters, training courses, seminars, workshops in personnel management and other civil service matters. For this purpose, the Commission shall prescribe standard and reasonable rates for such examinations, certifications, training courses, seminars, and workshops: Provided, That no examination fees shall be collected in examinations given for the selection of scholars.

        Sec. 63. Income. - The income of the Commission from fees, costs for services it may assess and levy, and such other proceeds generated in the performance of its functions shall be directly utilized by the Commission for its expenses.

        Sec. 64. Authority of Officers to Administer Oaths, Take Testimony, Prosecute and Defend Cases in Court. - Members of the Commission, chiefs of offices, and other officers and employees of the Commission designated in writing by the Chairman may administer such oath as may be necessary in the transactions of official business and administer oaths and take testimony in connection with any authorized investigation. Attorneys of the Commission may prosecute and defend cases in connection with the functions of the Commission before any court or tribunal.

        Sec. 65. Liability of Appointing Authority. - No person employed in the Civil Service in violation of the Civil Service Law and rules shall be entitled to receive pay from the government; but the appointing authority responsible for such unlawful employment shall be personally liable for the pay that would have accrued had the employment been lawful, and the disbursing officials shall make payment to the employee of such amount from the salary of the officers so liable.

        Sec. 66. Liability of Disbursing Officers. - Except as may otherwise be provided by law, it shall be unlawful for a treasurer or other fiscal officer to draw or retain from salary due an officer or employee any amount for contribution or payment of obligations other than those due the government or its instrumentalities.

        Sec. 67. Penal Provision. - Whoever makes any appointment or employs any person in violation of any provision of this Title or the rules made thereunder or whoever commits fraud, deceit or intentional misrepresentation of material facts concerning other civil service matters, or whoever violates, refuses or neglects to comply with any of such provisions or rules, shall upon conviction be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand pesos or by imprisonment not exceeding six (6) months, or both such fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court.
     

    Subtitle B

    THE COMMISSION ON AUDIT

     Chapter 1

    GENERAL PROVISIONS

     
        Sec. 1. Declaration of Policy.- All resources of the government shall be managed, expended or utilized in accordance with law and regulations and safeguarded against loss or wastage through illegal or improper disposition to ensure efficiency, economy and effectiveness in the operations of government. The responsibility to take care that such policy is faithfully adhered to rests directly with the chief or head of the government agency concerned.

        Sec. 2. Definition of Terms.- Unless the content otherwise requires, when used in this Title:

        (1) "Fund" is a sum of money or other resources set aside for the purpose of carrying out specific activities or attaining certain objectives in accordance with special requisitions, restrictions, or limitations, and constitutes an independent fiscal and accounting entity.

        (2) "Government funds" includes public moneys of every sort and other resources pertaining to any agency of the Government.

        (3) "Revenue funds" comprises all funds deprived from the income of any agency of the Government and available for appropriation or expenditure in accordance with law.

        (4) "Trust funds" refers to funds which have come officially into the possession of any agency of the Government or of a public officer as trustee, agent, or administrator, or which have been received for the fulfillment of some obligation.

        (5) "Depository funds" comprises funds over which the officer accountable therefor may retain control for the lawful purposes for which they came into his possession. It embraces moneys in any and all depositories.

        (6) "Depository" refers to any financial institution lawfully authorized to receive government moneys upon deposit.

        (7) "Resources" refers to the actual assets of any agency of the Government such as cash, instruments representing or convertible to money, receivables, lands, buildings, as well as contingent assets, such as estimated revenues applying to the current fiscal period not accrued or collected, and bonds authorized and unissued.

        (8) "Government agency" or "agency of the government," or "agency" refers to any department, bureaus or office of the National Government, or any of its branches and instrumentalities, or any political subdivision, as well as any government-owned or controlled corporation, including its subsidiaries, or other self-governing board or commission of the Government.
     

    Chapter 2

    ORGANIZATION OF THE COMMISSION ON AUDIT

     
        Sec. 3. The Commission Proper. - The Commission Proper shall be composed of the Chairman and two Commissioners. It shall sit as a body to formulate policies, promulgate rules and regulations, and prescribe standards governing the discharge of its powers and functions.

        Sec. 4. The Chairman. - The Chairman shall act as Presiding Officer of the Commission Proper and Chief Executive Officer of the Commission. The Chairman may be assisted by the commissioners in the general administration of the Commission. He shall perform the following duties:

        (1) Control and supervise the general administration of the commission;

        (2) Direct and manage the implementation and execution of policies, standards, rules and regulations of the commission;

        (3) Control and supervise the audit of highly technical or confidential transactions or accounts of any government agency; and

        (4) Perform such other related functions as may be assigned from time to time by the Chairman.

        Sec. 5. Offices of the Commissioners. - There shall be two (2) Commissioners who shall assist the Chairman, upon proper delegation in the general administration of the Commission. They shall assist in the review and evaluation of existing policies as well as in the formulation of new ones.

        Sec. 6. The Commission Secretariat. - The Commission Secretariat shall be headed by the Secretary to the Commission who shall have the privileges of a COA service chief. The Commission Secretariat shall perform the following functions:

        (1) Prepare the agenda for the sessions of the Commission Proper;

        (2) Prepare and keep the minutes of all sessions, hearings and conferences of the Commission Proper;

        (3) Maintain the records of the Commission Proper; and

        (4) Perform such related functions as may be assigned by the Chairman of the Commission Proper.
     

    Chapter 3

    OFFICES

     
        Sec. 7. Central Offices. - The Commission shall have the following central offices:

        (1) The Administrative Office shall be headed by a Director and shall perform the following functions:

        (a) Develop and maintain a personnel program which shall include recruitment, selection, appointment, performance evaluation, employee relations, and welfare services;

        (b) Provide the Commission with services related to personnel, records, supplies, equipment, medical, collections and disbursements, and other related services; and

        (c) Perform such other related functions as may be assigned from time to time by the Chairman.

        (2) The Planning, Financial and Management Office shall:

        (a) Formulate long range and annual plans and programs for the Commission;

        (b) Formulate basis policies and guidelines for the preparation of the budget of the Commission, coordinate with the Department of Budget and Management, and the Office of the President in the preparation of the said budget;

        (c) Maintain and administer the accounting system pertaining to the accounts of the Commission;

        (d) Develop and maintain the management information system of the Commission;

        (e) Develop and administer a management improvement program, including a system for measurement of performance of auditing units on which an annual report shall be submitted to the Chairman not later than the 31st of January of each year;

        (f) Render consultancy services related to the discharge of government auditing functions; and

        (g) Perform such other related functions as may be assigned from time to time by the Chairman.

        (3) The State Accounting and Auditing Development Office shall be headed by a Director and shall perform the following functions:

        (a) Formulate long range plans for a comprehensive training program for all personnel of the Commission and personnel of the agencies of government, with respect to Commission rules and regulations and audit matters;

        (b) Prepare and implement annual training programs, consistent with its long range plans;

        (c) Develop its capability to implement training programs;

        (d) Publish the professional journal of the Commission;

        (e) Establish and maintain such training centers and libraries as may be authorized by the Commission; and

        (f) Perform such other related functions as may be assigned from time to time by the Chairman.

        (4) The Accountancy Office shall be headed by a Director and shall perform the following functions:

        (a) Prepare for the Commission, the annual financial report of the National Government and such other financial or statistical works as may be required by the Commission;

        (b) Maintain the accounts of the current surplus of the general fund of the national government;

        (c) Verify appropriations, of national government agencies and control fund releases pertaining thereto; and

        (d) Assist in the formulation of accounting rules and regulations and supervise the implementation of such rules and regulations in government agencies.

        (5) The Special Audits Office shall be headed by a Director and shall perform the following functions:

        (a) Conduct, consistent with the exercise by the Commission of its visitorial powers as conferred by the variable scope audit of non-governmental firms subsidized by the government (1) required to pay levies or government shares; (2) those funded by donations through the government; and (3) those for which the government has put up a counterpart fund. Such audits shall be limited to the funds coming from the government;

        (b) Undertake, on a selective basis, financial compliance, economy, efficiency and effectiveness audit of national agencies and local government units, government-owned or controlled corporations, and other self-governing boards, commissions, or agencies of government, as well as specific programs and projects of the government;

        (c) Audit financial operations of public utilities and franchise grantees for rate determination and franchise tax purposes;

        (d) Conduct such other special audits as may be directed by the Chairman; and

        (e) Perform such other related functions as may be assigned from time to time by the Chairman.

        (6) The Technical Services Office shall perform the following functions:

        (a) Review and evaluate contracts with emphasis on the engineering and other technical aspects;

        (b) Inspect and appraise infrastructure projects, deliveries of materials and equipment, and property for disposal;

        (c) Develop and administer a system for monitoring the prices of materials, supplies, and equipment purchased by the government;

        (d) Initiate special studies on technical matters related to auditing; and

        (e) Perform such other related functions as may be assigned from time to time by the Chairman.

        (7) The Legal Office shall be headed by a General Counsel with the rank and privileges of a director and which shall perform the following functions:

        (a) Perform advisory and consultative functions and render legal services with respect to the performance of the functions of the Commission and the interpretation of pertinent laws and regulations;

        (b) Handle the investigation of administrative cases filed against the personnel of the Commission, evaluate and act on all reports of involvement of the said personnel in anomalies or irregularities in government transactions, and perform any other investigative work required by the Commission upon assignment by the Chairman.

        (c) Represent the Commission in preliminary investigation of malversation and similar cases discovered in audit, assist and collaborate with the prosecuting agencies of Government in the prosecution thereof, and assist and collaborate with the Solicitor General in handling civil cases involving the Chairman or any of the Commissioners and other officials and employees of the Commission in their official capacity;

        (d) Extend assistance by way of legal advice or counsel to auditors of the Commission who face harassment or retaliatory suits, whether civil or criminal, in consequence of the performance of their official functions;

        (e) Coordinate and initiate for the Commission, with appropriate legal bodies of government with respect to legal proceedings towards the collection and enforcement of debts and claims, and the restitution of funds and property, found to be due any government agency in the settlement and adjustment of its accounts by the Commission; and

        (f) Perform such other related functions as may be assigned from time to time by the Chairman.

        (8) The National Government Audit Offices I and II shall be headed by a Director and which shall perform the following functions:

        (a) Exercise control and supervision over the implementation of auditing rules and regulations in agencies of national government in the National Capital Region (NCR), including self-governing boards, commissions or agencies funded from national appropriations;

        (b) Review audit reports covering agencies of the national government under its audit jurisdiction;

        (c) Exercise control and supervision over personnel, planning, financial (budgetary and accounting), and legal matters pertaining to the Office and the Auditing Units under it;

        (d) Formulate and develop plans, operating standards, methods and techniques for the implementation of auditing rules and regulations for agencies of the national government;

        (e) Formulate accounting and auditing rules and regulations for agencies of the national government;

        (f) Advise and assist the Chairman on matters pertaining to the audit of agencies of the national government under their respective jurisdictions; and

        (g) Perform such other related functions as may be assigned from time to time by the Chairman.

        (9) The Corporate Audit Office shall be headed by a Director and shall perform the following functions:

        (a) Exercise control and supervision over the implementation of auditing rules and regulations in government-owned or controlled corporations in the National Capital Region;

        (b) Review audit reports covering government-owned or controlled corporations;

        (c) Exercise control and supervision over personnel, planning, financial (budgetary and accounting), and legal matters pertaining to the Office and the Auditing units under its;

        (d) Formulate and develop plans, operating standards, methods and techniques for the implementation of accounting and auditing rules and regulations in government-owned or controlled corporations;

        (e) Formulate accounting and auditing rules and regulations for government-owned or controlled corporations;

        (f) Prepare for the Commission, the annual financial report of government-owned or controlled corporations;

        (g) Advise and assist the Chairman on matters pertaining to the audit of government-owned or controlled corporations; and

        (h) Perform such other related functions as may be assigned from time to time by the Chairman.

        (10) The Local Governments Audit Office shall be headed by a Director and shall perform the following functions:

        (a) Exercise control and supervision over the implementation of auditing rules and regulations in local government units in the National Capital Region;

        (b) Review audit reports covering local government units in the National Capital Region;

        (c) Exercise control and supervision over personnel, planning, financial (budgetary and accounting), and legal matters pertaining to the Office and Auditing units under it;

        (d) Formulate and develop plans, operating standards, methods and techniques for the implementation of auditing rules and regulations in local government units;

        (e) Formulate accounting and auditing rules and regulations for local government units;

        (f) Prepare for the Commission, the annual financial report of local government units;

        (g) Advise and assist the Chairman on matters pertaining to the audit of local government units; and

        (h) Perform such other related functions as may be assigned from time to time by the Chairman.

        Sec. 8. Auditing Units in Regional Offices: Structure and Functions. - The Regional Offices in Region I to XII, each to be headed by a Director shall perform the following functions:

        (1) Exercise supervision and control over the implementation of auditing rules and regulations in any agency of the government with principal office or place of operations within the regions;

        (2) Review local, national and corporate audit reports pertaining to the region;

        (3) Exercise control and supervision over personnel, planning, financial (budgetary and accounting), and legal matters pertaining to the region; and

        (4) Perform such other related functions as may be assigned by the Chairman.

        Sec. 9. Auditing Units in Government Agencies: Structure and Functions. - The Auditing Units in government agencies shall perform the following functions:

        (1) Examine, audit and settle all accounts, funds, financial transactions and resources of government agencies under their jurisdiction.

        (2) Submit audit reports and such other reports as may be required by the Commission;

        (3) Keep and preserve expense vouchers, journal vouchers, stubs of treasury warrants and checks, reports of collections and disbursements and similar documents together with their supporting papers, under regulations of the Commission; and

        (4) Perform such other functions as may be assigned to them by the Chairman.
     

    Chapter 4

    JURISDICTION, POWERS AND FUNCTIONS OF THE COMMISSION

     
        Sec. 10. Statement of Objectives. - In keeping with the constitutional mandate, the Commission adheres to the following objectives:

        (1) Determine whether or not the fiscal responsibility that rests directly with the head of the government agency has been properly and effectively discharged;

        (2) Develop and implement a comprehensive audit program that shall encompass an examination of financial transactions, accounts and reports, including evaluation of compliance with applicable laws and regulations;

        (3) Institute control measures through the promulgation of auditing and accounting rules and regulations governing the receipts disbursements, and uses of funds and property, consistent with the total economic development efforts of the Government;

        (4) Promulgate auditing and accounting rules and regulations so as to facilitate the keeping, and enhance the information value of the accounts of the Government;

        (5) Institute measures designed to preserve and ensure the independence of its representatives; and

        (6) Endeavor to bring its operations closer to the people by the delegation of authority through decentralization, consistent with the provisions of the Constitution and the laws.

        Sec. 11. General Jurisdiction. - (1) The Commission on Audit shall have the power, authority, and duty to examine, audit, and settle all accounts pertaining to the revenue and receipts of, and expenditures or uses of funds and property, owned or held in trust by, or pertaining to, the Government, or any of its subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters, and on a post-audit basis: (a) constitutional bodies, commissions and offices that have been granted fiscal autonomy under this Constitution; (b) autonomous state colleges and universities, (c) other government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries; and (d) such non-governmental entities receiving subsidy or equity, directly or indirectly from or through the Government, which are required by law or the granting institution to submit to such audit as a condition of subsidy or equity. However, where the internal control system of the audited agencies is inadequate, the Commission may adopt such measures, including temporary or special pre-audit, as are necessary and appropriate to correct the deficiencies. It shall keep the general accounts of the Government and, for such period as may be provided by law, preserve the vouchers and other supporting papers pertaining thereto.

        (2) The Commission shall have exclusive authority, subject to the limitations in this Article, to define the scope of its audit and examination, establish the techniques and methods required therefor, and promulgate accounting and auditing rules and regulations, including those for the prevention and disallowance of irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant, or unconscionable expenditures, or uses of government funds and properties.

        Sec. 12. Appointing Power. - The Commission Proper shall appoint in accordance with the Civil Service Law, the officials and employees of the Commission wherever they are stationed or assigned.

        Sec. 13. Examining Authority. - The Commission shall have authority to examine books, papers, documents filed by individuals and corporations with, and which are in the custody of, government offices in connection with government revenue collection operations, for the sole purpose of ascertaining that all funds determined by the appropriate agencies and collectible and due the Government have actually been collected, except as otherwise provided in the Internal Revenue Code of 1977.

        Sec. 14. Visitorial Authority. - (1) The Commission shall have visitorial authority over non-government entities subsidized by the Government, those required to pay levies or have government shares, those which have received counterpart funds from the Government or are partly funded by donations through the Government. This authority, however, shall pertain only to the audit of these funds or subsidies coming from or through the Government; and

        (2) Upon direction of the President, the Commission shall likewise exercise visitorial authority over non-governmental entities whose loans are guaranteed by the Government, provided that such authority shall pertain only to the audit of the government's contingent liability.

        Sec. 15. Fee for Audit and Other Services. - (1) The Commission shall fix and collect reasonable fees for the different services rendered to non-government entities that shall be audited in connection with their dealings with the Government arising from subsidiaries, counterpart funding by Government, or where audited records become the basis for a government levy or share. Fees of this nature shall accrue to the General Fund and shall be remitted to the Treasurer of the Philippines within ten (10) days following the completion of the audit; and

        (2) Whenever the Commission contracts with any government entity to render audit and related services beyond the normal scope of such services, the Commission is empowered to fix and collect reasonable fees. Such fees shall either be appropriated in the agency's current budget, charged against its savings, or appropriated in its succeeding year's budget. Remittance shall accrue to the General Fund and shall be made to the Treasurer of the Philippines within the time provided for in the contract of service, or in the billing rendered by the Commission.

        Sec. 16. Deputization of Private Licensed Professionals to Assist Government Auditors. - (1) The Commission may, when the exigencies of the service also require, deputize and retain in the name of the Commission such certified public accountants and other licensed professionals not in the public service as it may deem necessary to assist government auditors in undertaking specialized audit engagements; and

        (2) The deputized professionals shall be entitled to such compensation and allowances as may be stipulated, subject to pertinent rules and regulations on compensation and fees.

        Sec. 17. Government Contracts for Auditing, Accounting and Related Services. - (1) No government agency shall enter into any contract with any private person or firm for services to undertake studies and services relating to government auditing, including services to conduct, for a fee, seminars or workshops for government personnel on these topics, unless the proposed contract is first submitted to the Commission to enable it to determine if it has the resources to undertake such studies or services. The Commission may engage the services of experts from the public or private sectors in the conduct of these studies; and

        (2) Should the Commission decide not to undertake the study or service, it shall nonetheless have the power to review the contract in order to determine the reasonableness of its costs.

        Sec. 18. Settlement of Accounts Between Agencies. - The Commission shall have the power, under such regulations as it may prescribe, to authorize and enforce the settlement of accounts subsisting between agencies of the Government.

        Sec. 19. Collection of Indebtedness Due to the Government. - The Commission shall, through proper channels, assist in the collection and enforcement of all debts and claims, and the restitution of all funds or the replacement or payment as a reasonable price of property, found to be due the Government, or any of its subdivisions, agencies or instrumentalities, or any government-owned or controlled corporation or self-governing, board, commission or agency of the Government, in the settlement and adjustment of its accounts. If any legal proceeding is necessary to that end, the Commission shall refer the case to the Solicitor General, the Government Corporate Counsel, or the Legal Staff of the Creditor Government Office or agency concerned to institute such legal proceeding. The Commission shall extend full support in the litigation. All such moneys due and payable shall bear interest at the legal rate from the date of written demand by the Commission.

        Sec. 20. Power to Compromise Claims. - (1) When the interest of the Government so requires, the Commission may compromise or release in whole or in part, any settled claim or liability to any government agency not exceeding ten thousand pesos arising out of any matter or case before it or within its jurisdiction, and with the written approval of the President, it may likewise compromise or release any similar claim or liability not exceeding one hundred thousand pesos. In case the claim or liability exceeds one hundred thousand pesos, the application for relief therefrom shall be submitted, through the Commission and the President, with their recommendations, to the Congress; and

        (2) The Commission may, in the interest of the Government, authorize the charging or crediting to an appropriate account in the National Treasury, small discrepancies (overage or shortage) in the remittances to, and disbursements of, the National Treasury, subject to the rules and regulations as it may prescribe.

        Sec. 21. Retention of Money for Satisfaction of Indebtedness to Government. - When any person is indebted to any government agency, the Commission may direct the proper officer to withhold the payment of any money due such person or his estate to be applied in satisfaction of the indebtedness.

        Sec. 22. Authority to Examine Accounts of Public Utilities. - (1) The Commission shall examine and audit the books, records and accounts of public utilities in connection with the fixing of rates of every nature, or in relation to the proceedings of the proper regulatory agencies, for purposes of determining franchise taxes;

        (2) Any public utility refusing to allow an examination and audit of its books of accounts and pertinent records, or offering unnecessary obstruction to the examination and audit, or found guilty of concealing any material information concerning its financial status shall be subject to the penalties provided by law; and

        (3) During the examination and audit, the public utility concerned shall produce all the reports, records, books of accounts and such other papers as may be required. The Commission shall have the power to examine under oath any official or employee of the said public utility.

        Sec. 23. Submission of Papers Relative to Obligations. - (1) The Commission shall have the power, for purposes of inspection, to require the submission of the original of any order, deed, contract, or other document under which any collection, or payment from, government funds may be made, together with any certificate, receipt, or other evidence in connection therewith. If authenticated copy is needed for record purposes, the copy shall upon demand be furnished;

        (2) In the case of deeds to property purchased by any government agency, the Commission shall require a certificate of title entered in favor of the Government or other evidence satisfactory to it that the title is in the Government; and

        (3) It shall be the duty of the officials or employees concerned, including those in non-government entities under audit, or affected in the audit of government and non-government entities, to comply with these requirements. Failure or refusal to do so without justifiable cause shall be a ground for administrative disciplinary action as well as for disallowing permanently a claim under examination, assessing additional levy or government share, or withholding or withdrawing government funding or donation through the Government.

        Sec. 24. Investigatory and Inquisitorial Powers. - The Chairman or any Commissioner, the Central Office Managers, the Regional Directors, the Auditors of any government agency, and any other official or employee of the Commission specially deputed in writing for the purpose by the Chairman shall, in compliance with the requirement of due process have the power to summon the parties to a case brought before the Commission for resolution, issue subpoena and subpoena duces tecum, administer oaths, and otherwise take testimony in any investigation or inquiry on any matter within the jurisdiction of the Commission.

        Sec. 25. Power to Punish Contempt. - The Commission shall have the power to punish contempt provided for in the Rules of Court under the same procedure and with the same penalties provided therein. Any violation of any final and executory decision, order or ruling of the Commission shall constitute contempt of the Commission.

        Sec. 26. Annual Report of the Commission. - (1) The Commission shall submit to the President, and the Congress not later than the last day of September of each year an annual report on the financial condition and results of operation of all agencies of the Government which shall include recommendations of measures necessary to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of these agencies;

        (2) To carry out the purposes of this section, the Chief Accountant or the official in charge of keeping the accounts of government agency shall submit to the Commission year-end trial balances and such other supporting or subsidiary statements as may be required by the Commission not later than the fourteenth (14) day of February. Trial balances returned by the Commission for revision due to non-compliance with accounting rules and regulations shall be resubmitted within three days after the date of receipt by the official concerned; and

        (3) Failure on the part of any official or employee to comply with the provisions of the immediately preceding paragraph shall cause the automatic suspension of the payment of his salary and other emoluments until he shall have complied therewith. The violation of these provisions for at least three (3) times shall subject the offender to administrative disciplinary action.

        Sec. 27. Statement of Monthly Receipts and Disbursements. - The Commission shall forward to the Secretary of Finance, as soon as and within sixty (60) days after the expiration of each month, a statement of all receipts of the national government of whatever class, and payments of moneys made on warrants or otherwise during the preceding month.

        Sec. 28. Powers, Functions, Duties of Auditors as Representatives of the Commission. - (1) The Auditors shall exercise such powers and functions as may be authorized by the Commission in the examination, audit and settlement of the accounts, funds, financial transactions and resources of the agencies under their respective audit jurisdiction;

        (2) A report of audit for each calendar year shall be submitted on the last working day of February following the close of the year by the head of each auditing unit through the Commission to the head or the governing body of the agency concerned, and copies thereof shall be furnished the government officials concerned or authorized to receive them. Subject to such rules and regulations as the Commission may prescribe, the report shall set forth the scope of audit and shall include statements of financial conditions, surplus or deficit analysis, operations, changes in financial position, and such comments and information as may be necessary together with such recommendations with respect thereto as may be advisable, including a report of any impairment of capital noted in the audit. It shall also show specifically any program, expenditure, or other financial transaction or undertaking observed in the course of the audit which in the opinion of the auditor has been carried out or made without authority of law. The auditor shall render such other reports as the Commission may require:

        (3) In the performance of their respective audit functions as herein specified, the auditors shall employ such auditing procedures and techniques as are determined by the Commission under regulations that it may promulgate; and

        (4) The auditors in all auditing units shall have the custody and be responsible for the safekeeping and preservation of paid expense vouchers, journal vouchers, stubs of treasury warrants or checks, reports of collections and disbursements and similar documents, together with their respective supporting papers, under regulations of the Commission.

        Sec. 29. Check and Audit of Property or Supplies. - The auditor shall from time to time conduct a careful and thorough check and audit of all property or supplies of the agency to which he is assigned. Such check and audit shall not be confined to a mere inspection and examination of the pertinent vouchers, inventories, and other papers but shall include an ocular verification of the existence and condition of the property or supplies. The recommendation of the auditor shall be embodied in the proper report.

        Sec. 30. Annual Audit and Work Program. - Each Auditor who is head of an auditing unit shall develop and devise an annual work program and the necessary audit program for his unit in accordance with the regulations of the Commission.

        Sec. 31. Seizure of Office by Auditor. - (1) The books, accounts, papers and cash of any local treasurer or other accountable officer shall at all times be open to the inspection of the Commission or its authorized representatives;

        (2) In case an examination of the accounts of a local treasurer discloses a shortage in cash which should be on hand, it shall be the duty of the examining officer to seize the office and its contents, notify the Commission and the local chief executive, thereupon immediately take full possession of the office and its contents, close and render his accounts to the date of taking possession, and temporarily continue the public business of such office; and

        (3) The auditor who takes possession of the office of the local treasurer under this section shall ipso facto supersede the local treasurer until the officer involved is restored, or another person has been appointed or designated to the position or other provision has been lawfully made for filling the office.
     
        Sec. 32. Constructive Distraint of Property of Accountable Officer. - (1) Upon discovery in audit of a shortage in the accounts of any accountable officer and upon a finding of a prima facie case of malversation of public funds or property against him, in order to safeguard the interest of the Government, the Commission may place under constructive distraint personal property of the accountable officer concerned where there is reasonable ground to believe that the said officer is retiring from the government service or intends to leave the Philippines or remove his property therefrom or hide or conceal his property.

        (2) The constructive distraint shall be effected by requiring the accountable officer concerned or any other person having possession or control of the property to accomplish a receipt, in the form of prescribed by the Commission, covering the property distrained and obligate himself to preserve the same intact and unaltered and not to dispose of it in any manner whatever without the express authority of the Commission; and

        (3) In case the said accountable officer or other person having the possession and control of the property sought to be placed under constructive distraint refuses or fails to accomplish the receipt herein referred to, the representative of the Commission effecting the constructive distraint shall proceed to prepare a list of such property and, in the presence of two (2) witnesses, leave a copy thereof in the premises where the property distrained is located, after which the said property shall be deemed to have been placed under constructive distraint.
     

    Chapter 5

    DECISIONS OF THE COMMISSION

     
        Sec. 33. Appeal from Decision of Auditors. - Any person aggrieved by the decision of an auditor of any government agency in the settlement of an account or claim may, within six (6) months from receipts of a copy thereof, appeal in writing to the Commission.

        Sec. 34. Period for Rendering Decisions of the Commission. - The Commission shall decide any case brought before it within sixty (60) days from the date of its submission for resolution. If the account or claim involved in the case needs reference to other persons or office, or to a party interested, the period shall be counted from the time the last comment necessary to a proper decision is received by it.

        Sec. 35. Appeal form Decision of the Commission. - Any decision, order or ruling of the Commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party within thirty days from his receipt of a copy thereof in the manner provided by law and the Rules of Court. When the decision, order or ruling adversely affects the interest of any government agency, the appeal may be taken by the proper head that agency.

        Sec. 36. Finality of Decision of the Commission or Any Auditor. - A decision of the Commission or of any Auditor upon any matter within its or his jurisdiction, if not appealed as herein provided, shall be final and executory.

        Sec. 37. Opening and Revision of Settled Accounts. - (1) At any time before the expiration of three (3) years after the settlement of any account by an auditor, the Commission may motu proprio review and revise the account or settlement and certify a new balance. For this purpose, it may require any account, vouchers or other papers connected with the matter to be forwarded to it;

        (2) When any settled account appears to be tainted with fraud, collusion, or error of calculation, or when new and material evidence is discovered, the Commission may, within three (3) years after the original settlement, open the account and, after a reasonable time for reply or appearance of the party concerned, certify thereon a new balance. An auditor may exercise the same power with respect to settled accounts pertaining to the agencies under his audit jurisdiction; and

        (3) Accounts once finally settled shall in no case be opened or reviewed except as herein provided.
     

    Chapter 6

    GOVERNMENT AUDITING AND ACCOUNTING

     
        Sec. 38. Definition of Government Auditing. - Government auditing is the analytical and systematic examination and verification of financial transactions, operations, accounts and reports of any government agency for the purpose of determining their accuracy, integrity and authenticity, and satisfying the requirements of law, rules and regulations.

        Sec. 39. General Standards. - (1) The audit shall be performed by a person possessed with adequate technical training and proficiency as auditor;

        (2) In all matters relating to the audit work, the auditor shall maintain complete independence, impartiality and objectivity and shall avoid any possible compromise of his independence or any act which may create a presumption of lack of independence or the possibility of undue influence in the performance of his duties; and

        (3) The auditor shall exercise due professional care and be guided by applicable laws, regulations and the generally accepted principles of accounting in the performance of the audit work a well as in the preparation of audit and financial reports.

        Sec. 40. Definition of Government Accounting. - Government accounting includes the process of analyzing, recording, classifying, summarizing and communicating all transactions involving the receipt and dispositions of government funds and property, and interpreting the results thereof.

        Sec. 41. Objectives of Government Accounting. - Government accounting shall aim to produce information concerning past operations and present conditions; provide a basis for guidance for future operations; provide for control of the acts of public bodies and officers in the receipt, disposition and utilization of funds and property; and report on the financial position and the results of operations of government agencies for the information of all persons concerned.
     

    Chapter 7

    RECEIPT AND DISPOSITION OF FUNDS AND PROPERTY

     
        Sec. 42. Accounting for Money and Property Received by Public Officials. - Except as may otherwise be specifically provided by law or competent authority, all moneys and property officially received by a public officer in any capacity or upon any occasion must be accounted for as government funds and government property. Government property shall be taken up in the books of the agency concerned at acquisition cost or an appraised value.

        Sec. 43. Special, Fiduciary and Trust Funds. - Receipts shall be recorded as income of Special, Fiduciary or Trust Funds or Funds other than the General Fund only when authorized by law as implemented pursuant to law.

        Sec. 44. Issuance of Official Receipts. - (1) No payment of any nature shall be received by a collecting officer without immediately issuing an official receipt in acknowledgment thereof. The receipt may be in the form of postage, internal revenue or documentary stamps and the like, or officially numbered receipts, subject to proper custody, accountability and audit; and

        (2) Where mechanical devices are used to acknowledge cash receipts, the Commission may approve, upon request, exemption from the use of accountable forms.
     

    Chapter 8

    APPLICATION OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS

     
        Sec. 45. Disbursement of Government Funds. - (1) Revenue funds shall not be paid out of any public treasury or depository except in pursuance of an appropriation law or other specific statutory authority;

        (2) Trust funds shall not be paid out of any public treasury or depository except in fulfillment of the purpose for which the trust was created or funds received and upon authorization of the legislative body, or head of any other agency of the government having control thereof, and subject to pertinent budget laws, rules and regulations;

        (3) National revenue and trust funds shall not be withdrawn from the National Treasury except upon warrant or other instruments of withdrawal approved by the Secretary of Finance as recommended by the Treasurer of the Philippines; and

        (4) Temporary investment of investible cash in the National Treasury in any securities issued by the National Government and its political subdivisions and instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations as authorized by the Secretary of Finance, shall not be construed as disbursement of funds.

        Sec. 46. Appropriation Before Entering into Contract. - (1) No contract involving the expenditure of public funds shall be entered into unless there is an appropriation therefor, the unexpended balance of which, free of other obligations, is sufficient to cover the proposed expenditure; and

        (2) Notwithstanding this provision, contracts for the procurement of supplies and materials to be carried in stock may be entered into under regulations of the Commission provided that when issued, the supplies and materials shall be charged to the proper appropriations account.

        Sec. 47. Certificate Showing Appropriation to Meet Contract. - Except in the case of a contract for personal service, for supplies for current consumption or to be carried in stock not exceeding the estimated consumption for three (3) months, or banking transactions of government-owned or controlled banks, no contract involving the expenditure of public funds by any government agency shall be entered into or authorized unless the proper accounting official of the agency concerned shall have certified to the officer entering into the obligation that funds have been duly appropriated for the purpose and that the amount necessary to cover the proposed contract for the current calendar year is available for expenditure on account thereof, subject to verification by the auditor concerned. The certificate signed by the proper accounting official and auditor who verified it, shall be attached to and become an integral part of the proposed contract, and the sum so certified shall not thereafter be available for expenditure for any other purpose until the obligation of the government agency concerned under the contract is fully extinguished.

        Sec. 48. Void Contract and Liability of Officer. - Any contract entered into contrary to the requirements of the two (2) immediately preceding sections shall be void, and the officer or officers entering into the contract shall be liable to the Government or other contracting party for any consequent damage to the same extent as if the transaction had been wholly between private parties.

        Sec. 49. Countersigning of Warrants or Checks by Auditors. - No warrant or check shall be paid by the Treasury of the Philippines, local treasurer, or any government depository unless it is countersigned by a duly authorized official of the Commission. When, in the opinion of the Commission, the interest of the service so requires, the warrant or check may be paid without the countersignature under such rules and regulations as it may be prescribed from time to time.
     

    Chapter 9

    ACCOUNTABILITY AND RESPONSIBILITY

    FOR GOVERNMENT FUNDS AND PROPERTY

     
        Sec. 50. Accountable Officers; Board Requirements. - (1) Every officer of any government agency whose duties permit or require the possession or custody government funds shall be accountable therefor and for safekeeping thereof in conformity with law; and

        (2) Every accountable officer shall be properly bonded in accordance with law.

        Sec. 51. Primary and Secondary Responsibility. - (1) The head of any agency of the Government is immediately and primarily responsible for all government funds and property pertaining to his agency;

        (2) Persons entrusted with the possession or custody of the funds or property under the agency head shall be immediately responsible to him, without prejudice to the liability of either party to the Government.

        Sec. 52. General Liability for Unlawful Expenditures. - Expenditures of government funds or uses of government property in violation of law or regulations shall be a personal liability of the official or employee found to be directly responsible therefor.

        Sec. 53. Prohibition Against Pecuniary Interest. - No accountable or responsible officer shall be pecuniary interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract or transaction of the agency in which he is such an officer.
     

    Chapter 10

    MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

     
        Sec. 54. Duty to Respect the Commission's Independence. - It shall be the duty of every person to respect, protect and preserve the independence of the Commission.

        Sec. 55. Administrative Disciplinary Action. - Subject to rules and regulations as may be approved by the President, any unjustified failure by the public officer concerned to comply with any requirement imposed in Title I-B, Book V of this Code shall constitute neglect of duty and shall be a ground for administrative disciplinary action against said public officer who, upon being found guilty thereof after hearing, shall be meted out such penalty as is commensurate with the degree of his guilt in accordance with the Civil Service Law. Repealed unjustified failure to comply with the requirement imposed in Title I-B, Book V of this Code shall be conclusive proof that the public officer concerned is notoriously undesirable.
     

    Subtitle C

    COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS

     Chapter 1

    GENERAL PROVISIONS

     
        Sec. 1. Declaration of Policy. - The State shall at all times ensure free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible elections under a free and open party system which shall be allowed to evolve according to the free choice of the people subject to the provisions of Article IX-C of the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines.

        Sec. 2. Powers and Functions. - In addition to the powers and functions conferred upon it by the constitution, the Commission shall have exclusive charge of the enforcement and administration of all laws relative to the conduct of elections for the purpose of insuring free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible elections, and shall:

        (1) Promulgate rules and regulations implementing the provisions of the Omnibus Elections Code or other laws which the Commission is required to enforce and administer;

        (2) Fix other reasonable periods for certain pre-election requirements in order that voters shall not be deprived of their rights of suffrage and certain groups of rights granted them in the Omnibus Election Code;

        Unless indicated in the Omnibus Election Code, the Commission is hereby authorized to fix the appropriate period for the various prohibited acts enumerated therein, consistent with the requirements of free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible elections.

        (3) Exercise direct and immediate supervision and control over national and local officials or employees, including members of any national or local law enforcement agency and instrumentality of the government required by law to perform duties relative to the conduct of elections, plebiscite, referendum, recall and initiative. In addition, it may authorize CMT cadets, eighteen years of age and above to act as its deputies for the purpose of enforcing its orders;

        The Commission may relieve any officer or employee referred to in the preceding paragraph from the performance of his duties relating to electoral processes who violates the election law or fails to comply with its instructions, orders, decisions or rulings, and appoint his substitute. Upon recommendation of the Commission, the corresponding proper authority shall suspend or remove from office any or all of such officers or employees who may after due process, be found guilty of such violation or failure.

        (4) During the period of the campaign and ending thirty days thereafter, when in any area of the country there are persons committing acts of terrorism to influence people to vote for or against any candidate or political party, the Commission shall have the power to authorize any member or members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Integrated National Police or any similar agency or instrumentality of the government, except civilian home defense forces, to act as deputies for the purpose of insuring the holding of free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible elections;

        (5) Publish at least ten (10) days before an election in a newspaper of general circulation certified data on the number of official ballots and elections returns and the names and address of the printers and the number printed by each;

        (6) Refuse, motu propio or upon a verified petition, to give due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy if it is shown that said certificate has been filed to put the election process in mockery or disrepute or to cause confusion among the voters by the similarity of the names of the registered candidates or by other circumstances or acts which clearly demonstrate that the candidate has no bona fide intention to run for the office for which the certificate of candidacy has been filed and thus prevent a faithful determination of the true will of the electorate;

        (7) Postpone, motu propio or upon verified petition and after due notice and hearing whereby all interested parties are afforded equal opportunity to be heard, the election to a date which should be reasonably close to the date of the election not held, suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect but not later than thirty days after the cessation of the cause for such postponement or suspension of the election or failure to elect, when for any serious cause such as violence, terrorism, loss or destruction of election paraphernalia or records, force majeure, and other analogous causes the holding of a free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible election should become impossible in any political subdivision.

        (8) Call for the holding or continuation of election not held in any polling place where on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud or other analogous causes the election has not been held on the date fixed, or had been suspended before the hour fixed by law for the closing of the voting, or after the voting and during the preparation and the transmission of the election returns or in the custody or canvass thereof, such election results in a failure to elect, and in any of such cases the failure or suspension of election would affect the result of the election. Such call should be on the basis of a verified petition by any interested party and after due notice and hearing and the new date should be reasonably close to the date of the election not held, suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect but not later than thirty (30) days after the cessation of the cause of such postponement or suspension of the election or failure to elect.

        (9) Call a special election to elect the member to serve the unexpired portion in case a vacancy arises in the Senate or in the House of Representatives eighteen (18) months or more before a regular election, to be held within sixty (60) days after the vacancy occurs;

        (10) Summon the parties to a controversy pending before it, issue subpoena duces tecum and take testimony in any investigation or hearing before it, and delegate such power to any officer of the Commission who shall be a member of the Philippine Bar. In case of failure of a witness to attend, the Commission, upon proof of service of the subpoena to said witness, may issue a warrant to arrest the witness and bring him before the Commission or the officer before whom his attendance is required;

        Any controversy submitted to the Commission shall, after compliance with the requirements of due process, be immediately heard and decided by it within sixty (60) days from the date of its submission for decision or resolution. No decision or resolution shall be rendered by the Commission either en banc or by division unless taken up in a formal session properly convened for the purpose;

        The Commission may when necessary, avail itself of the assistance of any national or local law enforcement agency and or instrumentality of the government to execute under its direct and immediate supervision any of its final decisions, orders, instruction or rulings;

        (11) Punish for contempt according to the procedure, and with the same penalties provided, in the Rules of Court. Any violation of any final and executory decision, order or ruling of the Commission shall constitute contempt thereof;

        (12) Enforce and execute its decisions, directives, orders and instructions which shall have precedence over those emanating from any other authority, except the Supreme Court and those issued in habeas corpus proceedings;

        (13) Prescribe the forms to be used in the election, plebiscite or referendum, recall or initiative;

        (14) Procure any supplies, equipment, materials or services needed for the holding of the election by public bidding; but if it finds the requirements of public bidding impractical to observe, then by negotiations or sealed bids, and in both cases, the accredited parties shall be duly notified;

        (15) Prescribe the use or adoption of the latest technological and electronic devices, taking into account the situation prevailing in the area and funds available for the purpose. The Commission shall notify the authorized representatives of accredited political parties and candidates in areas affected by the use or adoption of technological and electronic devices not less than thirty days prior to the effectivity of the use of such devices;

        (16) Constitute a pool of standby-teachers from which substitutes shall be drawn in case a member/s of the Board of Election Inspectors who, for one reason or another, failed to report or refused to act as such on the day of election.

        (17) Carry out a continuing and systematic campaign through newspapers of general circulation, radio and other media forms to educate the public and fully inform the electorate about election laws, procedures, decisions, and other matters relative to the works and duties of the Commission and the necessity of clean, free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible electoral processes;

        (18) Accredit non-partisan groups or organizations of citizens from the civic, youth, professional, education, business or labor sectors known for their probity, impartiality and integrity with the membership and capability to undertake a coordinated operation and activity to assist it in the implementation of the provisions of Omnibus Election Code and the resolutions, orders and instructions of the Commission for purpose of ensuring free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible elections in any constituency. Such groups or organization shall functions under the direct and immediate control and supervision of the Commission;

        (19) Conduct hearings on controversies pending before it in the cities or provinces upon proper motion of any party, taking into consideration the materiality and number of witnesses to be presented, the situation prevailing in the area and the fund available for the purpose;

        (20) Have exclusive jurisdiction over all pre-proclamation controversies. It may motu proprio or upon written petition, and after due notice and hearing, order the partial or total suspension of the proclamation of any candidate-elect or annul partially or totally any proclamation, if one has been made, as the evidence shall warrant. Notwithstanding the pendency of any preproclamation controversy, the Commission may, motu propio or upon filing of a verified petition and after due notice and hearing, order the proclamation of other winning candidates whose election will not be affected by the outcome of the controversy.

        (21) Have the exclusive power, through its duly authorized legal officers, to conduct preliminary investigation of all election offenses punishable under the Omnibus Election Code and to prosecute the same. The Commission may avail itself of the assistance of other prosecuting arms of the government: Provided, however, that in the event that the Commission fails to act on any complaint within four (4) months from its filing, the complainant may file the complaint with the office of the fiscal or with the Department of Justice for proper investigation and prosecution, if warranted; and

        (22) Perform such other functions as may be provided by law.

        Sec. 3. Enforcement Powers. - For the effective enforcement of the provisions of the Omnibus Election Code, the Commission is further vested and charged with the following powers, duties and responsibilities:

        1. To stop any illegal activity, or confiscate, tear down, and stop any unlawful, libelous, misleading or false election propaganda, after due notice and hearing; and

        2. To inquire into the financial records of candidates and any organization or group of persons, motu propio or upon written representation for probable cause by any candidate, organization or group of persons or qualified voter, after due notice and hearing.

        For purposes of this Section, the Commission may avail itself of the assistance of the Commission on Audit, the Central Bank, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Integrated National Police of the Philippines, barangay officials and other agencies of the government.
     

    Chapter 2

    THE COMMISSION PROPER

     
        Sec. 4. Composition and Qualifications. - There shall be a Commission on Elections composed of a Chairman and six (6) Commissioners who shall be natural born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time of their appointment, at least thirty-five (35) years of age, holders of a college degree, and must not have been candidates for any elective position in the immediately preceding elections. However, a majority thereof, including the Chairman, shall be members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten (10) years.

        Sec. 5. Appointment and Term of Office. - The Chairman and the Commissioners shall be appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments for a term of seven (7) years without reappointment. Of those first appointed, three (3) Members shall hold office for seven (7) years, two (2) members for five (5) years, and the last members for three (3) years, without reappointment. Appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpired term of the predecessor. In no case shall any Member be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity.

        Sec. 6. Disqualifications. - The Chairman and members of the Commission shall be subject to the canons of judicial ethics in the discharge of their functions.

        No chairman or commissioners shall sit in any case in which he has manifested bias or prejudice or antagonism against any party thereto and in connection therewith, or in any case in which he would be disqualified under the Rules of Court. If it be claimed that the chairman or a commissioner is disqualified as above provided, the party objecting to his competency may file his objection in writing with the Commission stating the ground therefor. The official concerned shall continue to participate in the hearing or withdraw therefrom in accordance with his determination of the question of his disqualification. The decision shall forthwith be made in writing and filed with the other papers of the case in accordance with the Rules of Court. If a disqualification should result in a lack of quorum in the Commission sitting en banc, the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals shall designate a justice of said court to sit in said case for the purpose of hearing and reaching a decision thereon.

        Sec. 7. Chairman as Executive Officer; Powers and Duties. - The Chairman, who shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, shall:

        (1) Execute and administer the policies, decisions, orders and resolutions approved by the Commission;

        (2) Direct and supervise the operations and internal administration of the Commission;

        (3) Sign appointments of subordinate officials and employees made by the Commission and enforce decisions on administrative discipline involving them;

        (4) Make temporary assignments, rotate and transfer personnel in accordance with the provisions of the civil service law;

        (5) Submit an annual budget to the Commission for its approval;

        (6) Delegate his authority, in whole or in part, to other officials of the Commission, in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Commission; and

        (7) Perform such other duties as may be authorized by the Commission.

        Sec. 8. Executive Director; Powers and Duties. - The Executive Director of the Commission shall:

        (1) Advise and assist the Chairman in the formulation and implementation of the objectives, policies, plans and programs of the Commission;

        (2) Serve as the principal assistant of the Chairman in the overall supervision of the administrative business of the Commission;

        (3) Oversee all the operational activities of the Commission;

        (4) Coordinate the programs and projects of the Commission and be responsible for its economical, efficient and effective administration;

        (5) Serve as deputy to the Chairman in all matters relating to the operational activities of the Commission;

        (6) Administer oaths in connection with all matters relating to the business of the Commission; and

        (7) Perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Chairman.

        Sec. 9. Staff and Operating Units. - The Commission shall have the following staff and operating units: Office of the Chairman, Office of the Executive Director, Office of the Electoral Contests Adjudication, Regional Offices, Election and Barangay. Affairs Department, Law Department, Election Records and Statistics Department, Administrative Service Department, Planning Department, Personnel Department, Finance Services Department and Education and Information Department.

        Sec. 10. Duties and Functions of Offices and Departments of the Commission. - The different offices and departments of the Commission shall operate in accordance with their respective duties and functions assigned to them by the Commission, subject to the requirements of efficiency, economy and effectiveness, and pertinent Budget and Civil Service Law, rules and regulations.
     

    Chapter 3

    THE FIELD OFFICES

     
        Sec. 11. Field Office of the Commission. - The Commission shall have the following field offices:

        (1) Regional Election Office, headed by the Regional Election Director and assisted by the Assistant Regional Director and such other subordinate officers or employees as the Commission may appoint;

        (2) Provincial Election Office, headed by the Provincial Election Supervisor and assisted by such other subordinate officers or employees as the Commission may appoint;

        (3) City Municipal Election Office, headed by the City/Municipal Election Registrar who shall be assisted by an election clerk and such other employees as the Commission may appoint.

        The Commission may delegate its powers and functions or order the implementation or enforcement of its orders, rulings or decisions through the heads of its field offices.

        Sec. 12. Qualifications of Heads of field Offices. - Only members of the Philippines Bar shall be eligible for appointment to the position of regional director, assistant regional director, provincial election supervisor and election registrar. However, if there are no members of the Philippine Bar available for appointment as election registrar, except in cities and capital towns, graduates of duly recognized schools of law, liberal arts, education or business administration who possess the appropriate civil service eligibility may be appointed to said position.

        Sec. 13. Changes in the Composition, Distribution of Assignment of Field Offices. - The Commission may make changes in the composition, distribution and assignment of field offices, as well as its personnel, whenever the exigencies of the service and the interest of free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible election so require: Provided, That such changes shall be effective and enforceable only for the duration of the election period concerned and shall not affect the tenure of office of the incumbents of positions affected and shall not constitute a demotion, either in rank of salary, nor result in a change of status; and Provided, further, that there shall be no changes in the composition, distribution or assignment within thirty (30) days before election, except for cause and after due notice and hearing, and that in no case shall a regional or assistant regional director be assigned to a region, or a provincial election supervisor to a province, or a city municipal election registrar to a city or municipality, where he and/or his spouse are related to any candidate within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity as the case may be.
     

    Title II

    OTHER BODIES

     Subtitle A

    COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

     
        Sec. 1. Composition and Qualification. - The Commission on Human Rights shall be composed of a Chairman and four (4) Members who must be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time of their appointment, at least thirty-five years of age, and must not have been candidates for any elective position in the elections immediately preceding their appointment. However, a majority thereof shall be members of the Philippine Bar.

        Sec. 2. Powers and Functions. - The Commission on Human Rights shall:

        (1) Investigate, on its own or on complaint by any party, all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights;

        (2) Adopt its operational guidelines and rules of procedure, and cite for contempt violations thereof in accordance with the Rules of Court;

        (3) Provide appropriate legal measures for the protection of human rights of all persons within the Philippines, as well as Filipinos residing abroad, and provide for preventive measures and legal aid services to the under-privileged whose human rights have been violated or need protection;

        (4) Exercise visitorial powers over jails prisons, or detention facilities;

        (5) Establish a continuing program of research, education and information to enhance respect for the primacy of human rights;

        (6) Recommend to the Congress effective measures to promote human rights and to provide for compensation to victims of violations of human rights, or their families;

        (7) Monitor the Philippine Government's compliance with international treaty obligations on human rights;

        (8) Grant immunity from prosecution to any person whose testimony or whose possession of documents or other evidence is necessary or convenient to determine the truth in any investigation conducted by it or under its authority;

        (9) Request the assistance of any department, bureau, office, or agency in the performance of its functions;

        (10) Appoint its officers and employees in accordance with law; and

        (11) Perform such other duties and functions as may be provided by law.

        Sec. 3. Inhibitions Against Commissioners. - The Chairman and the Members of the Commission on Human Rights shall not, during their tenure, hold any other office or employment. Neither shall they engage in the practice of any profession or in the active management or control of any business which in any way will be affected by the functions of their office, nor shall they be financially interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract with, or in any franchise or privilege granted by the government, any of its subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries.

        Sec. 4. Term of Office. - The Chairman and the Members of the Commission on Human Rights shall be appointed by the President for a term of seven years without reappointment. Appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpired term of the predecessor.

        Sec. 5. Compensation. - The Chairman and the Members of the Commission Human Rights shall receive the same salary as the Chairman and Members, respectively, of the Constitutional Commissions, which shall not be decreased during their term of office.

        Sec. 6. Annual Appropriations. - The approved annual appropriations of the Commission on Human Rights shall be automatically and regularly released.
     

    Subtitle B

    OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN

     
        Sec. 1. Composition. - (1) The Office of the Ombudsman shall be headed by the Ombudsman, to be known as the Tanod-bayan, who shall be assisted by one overall Deputy and at least by one Deputy each for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. A separate Deputy for the military establishment may likewise be appointed.

        (2) It shall have such other officials and employees, to be appointed by the Ombudsman according to the Civil Service Law.

        Sec. 2. Powers and Functions. - The Office of the Ombudsman shall:

        (1) Investigate on its own, or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public official, employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper, or inefficient;

        (2) Direct, upon complaint or at its own instance, any public official or employee of the Government, or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, as well as of any government-owned or controlled corporation with original charter, to perform and expedite any act or duty required by law, or to stop, prevent, and correct any abuse or impropriety in the performance of duties;

        (3) Direct the officer concerned to take appropriate action against a public official or employee at fault, and recommend his removal, suspension, demotion, fine, censure, or prosecution, and ensure compliance therewith;

        (4) Direct the officer concerned, in any appropriate case, and subject to such limitations as may be provided by law, to furnish it with copies of documents relating to contracts or transactions entered into by his office involving the disbursement or use of public funds or properties, and report any irregularity to the Commission on Audit for appropriate action;

        (5) Request any government agency for assistance and information necessary in the discharge of its responsibilities, and to examine, if necessary, pertinent records and documents;

        (6) Publicize matters covered by its investigation when circumstances so warrant and with due prudence;

        (7) Determine the causes of inefficiency; red tape, mismanagement, fraud, and corruption in the Government and make recommendations for their elimination and the observance of high standards of ethics and efficiency;

        (8) Promulgate its rules of procedure and exercise such other powers or perform such functions or duties as may be provided by law.

        Sec. 3. Action and Complaints. - The Ombudsman and his Deputies, as protectors of the people, shall act promptly on complaint filed in any from or manner against public officials or employees of the Government, or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations, and shall, in appropriate cases, notify the complainants of the action taken and the result thereof.

        Sec. 4. Fiscal Autonomy. - The Office of the Ombudsman shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. Its approved annual appropriations shall be automatically and regularly released.
     

    Subtitle C

    THE NATIONAL ECONOMIC AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

    Chapter 1

    GENERAL PROVISIONS

     
        Sec. 1. Declaration of Policy. - The State shall ensure that all socio-economic programs and activities of the government shall be programmed within the context of well-formulated and consistent long, medium, and short-term development plans and policies to promote both the growth of the economy and the equitable distribution of the benefits of such growth to the members of society. To this end, it is recognized that the formulation of the required socio-economic development policies and plans is a vital process that calls for the participation of the various government agencies and private sector institutions and individuals concerned, both on national, regional, and local levels. This process of policy and plan formulation, however needs to be coordinated closely by a central government agency to ensure consistency of these plans and policies and optimal use of the nation's scarce resources.

        Sec. 2. National Economic and Development Authority. - The National Economic and Development Authority shall serve as an independent planning agency of the government.

        Sec. 3. Powers and Functions of the Authority. - The powers and functions of the Authority are vested in the NEDA Board.

        The Authority shall primarily be responsible for formulating continuing, coordinated and fully integrated social and economic policies, plans and programs, on the basis of the following:

        (1) The State aims to achieve objectives of growth coupled with equity;

        (2) Development leading to the attainment of the above mentioned goals is a multi-faceted process that calls for the coordination and integration of policies, plans, programs and projects of all sectors of society;

        (3) In the formulation of basic policies, plans, programs and projects, there shall be maximum participation by and consultation with concerned private sector groups, community organizations and beneficiaries and local government units in order to ensure that priority needs are incorporated into such policies, plans, programs and projects;

        (4) National plans shall be in fact the sum of nationally and regionally identified targets and strategies and locally formulated approaches to perceived local needs and priorities, carried out within the framework of national strategies;

        (5) Major socio-economic policies, plans, programs and projects of different government agencies must be properly coordinated with the Authority at both the national and regional levels prior to their adoption, in order to ensure their consistency with established national priorities and coordination with other policies, plans, programs and projects of the government; and

        (6) The linkage between development planning, programming and budgeting shall be of the highest priority in planning and budgeting activities.

        The Authority, after due consultation with the private sector, community organizations and beneficiaries, local government units and appropriate public agencies, shall be responsible for studying, reviewing, formulating and recommending continuing, coordinated and fully integrated economic and development policies, plans and programs, including the formulation of annual and medium-term public investment programs, programming official development assistance in the form of grants and concessional loans from foreign governments and multilateral agencies and organizations and the monitoring and evaluation of plan implementation.

        Sec. 4. Composition of the Authority. - The Authority shall be composed of two separate and distinct entities: the Board and the Secretariat.
     

    Chapter 2

    NEDA BOARD

     
        Sec. 5. Composition of the NEDA Board. - The NEDA Board shall be composed of the following:

        The President Chairman
     
        Director-General of the NEDA

        Secretariat Vice-Chairman

        Executive Secretary Member

        Secretary of Finance - do -

        Secretary of Trade & Industry - do -

        Secretary of Agriculture - do -

        Secretary of Environment & Natural

        Resources - do -

        Secretary of Public Works and Highways - do -

        Secretary of Budget and Management - do -

        Secretary of Labor & Employment - do -

        Secretary of Local Government - do -

        The President may, however, revise the membership of the NEDA Board whenever the same is deemed necessary for the effective performance of the Board's functions through an administrative or memorandum order.

        Sec. 6. Meetings. - The NEDA Board shall meet at least once a month or as frequently as is necessary to discharge its responsibilities as called for by the President. When the President is unable to attend a meeting, the Director-General of the NEDA may preside as Chairman, in the absence of any Presidential preference.

        The President however continues to have the power to designate from among the members of the NEDA Board the Chairman that can appropriately represent the President, to preside over specific meetings.

        Sec. 7. National Economic Development Authority Inter-agency Committees. - To assist the NEDA Board in the performance of its functions, there are hereby created the following committees which shall hereafter be under the direct control of the NEDA Board and shall submit all their recommendations to the President for approval on matters involving their respective concerns. The Chairman of these committees shall be designated by the President. The NEDA Board shall likewise determine where the technical staff of the said committees shall be based.

        (1) Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) - The DBCC, to be composed of the Director-General of the National Economic Development Authority Secretariat, the Executive Secretary and the Secretaries of Finance and of Budget and Management, shall have the following functions:

        (a) Recommend for President's approval the level of the annual government expenditure program and the ceiling of government spending for economic and social development, national defense, general government and debt service;

        (b) Recommend to the President the proper allocation of expenditures for each development activity between current operating expenditures and capital outlay; and

        (c) Recommend to the President the amount set to be allocated for capital outlay under each development activity for the various capital or infrastructure projects.

        (2) Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) - The ICC to be composed of the Director-General of the National Economic Development Authority Secretariat, the Executive Secretary, the Secretaries of Finance, Agriculture, Trade and Industry and of Budget and Management and the Governor of the Central Bank shall have the following functions:

        (a) Evaluate the fiscal, monetary and balance of payments implications of major national projects and recommend to the President the timetable for the implementation of these projects on a regular basis; and

        (b) Recommend to the President a domestic and foreign borrowing program updated each year; and subsequently submit to the President a status of fiscal, monetary and balance of payments implications of major national projects.

        (3) Committee on Social Development (SDC) - The SDC to be composed of the Director-General of the National Economic Development Authority Secretariat, the Executive Secretary, and the Secretaries of Education, Culture and Sports, Labor and Employment, Health, Local Government, Agrarian Reform, Agriculture and Social Welfare and Development shall have the following functions:

        (a) Advise the President and the NEDA Board on matters concerning social development, including education, manpower, health and nutrition, population and family planning, housing, human settlements and the delivery of other social services;

        (b) Coordinate the activities of government agencies concerned with social development; and

        (c) Recommend to the President government policies, programs and projects on social development consistent with national development objectives and priorities.

        (4) Committee on Infrastructure (INFRACOM) - the INFRACOM to be composed of the Director-General of the National Economic Development Authority Secretariat, the Executive Secretary, and the Secretaries of Public Works and Highways, Transportation and Communications, Finance, and Budget and Management shall have the following functions:

        (a) Advise the President and the NEDA Board or matters concerning infrastructure development including highways, airports, seaports and shore protection; railways; power generation, transmission and distribution; telecommunications; irrigation, flood control and drainage; water supply; national buildings for government offices; hospitals, sanitation and related buildings; state colleges and universities, elementary and secondary school buildings; and other public works;

        (b) Coordinate the activities of agencies, including government-owned or controlled corporations concerned with infrastructure development; and

        (c) Recommend to the President government policies, programs and projects concerning infrastructure development consistent with national development objectives and priorities.

        (5) Committee on Tariff and Related Matters (TRM) - The TRM to be composed of the Director-General of the National Economic Development Authority Secretariat, the Executive Secretary, the Secretaries of Trade and Industry, Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources and Budget and Management, the Government of the Central Bank and the Chairman of the Tariff Commission shall have the following functions:

        (a) Advise the President and the NEDA Board on tariff and related matters, and on the effects on the country of various international developments;

        (b) Coordinate agency positions and recommend national positions for international economic negotiations; and

        (c) Recommend to the President a continuous rationalization program for the country's tariff structure.
     

    Chapter 3

    NEDA SECRETARIAT

     
        Sec. 8. The NEDA Secretariat. - The Secretariat of NEDA shall have the following functions:

        (1) Serve as the research and technical support arm of the NEDA Board;

        (2) Provide through its various organizational units, technical staff support and assistance, including the conduct of studies and development of policy measures and other recommendations, on the various aspects of the substantive functions of development planning and policy formulation, and coordination, evaluation and monitoring of plan implementation;

        (3) Serve as the Secretariat of the NEDA Board; and

        (4) Perform such other functions as may be assigned to it by the NEDA Board to achieve its goals and objectives.

        Sec. 9. Structural Organization. - The NEDA Secretariat shall be composed of the Director-General, three (3) Deputy Directors-General, five (5) Assistant Directors-General, the National Development Office, the Regional Development Office, the Central Support Office and the Regional Offices.

        Sec. 10. Director-General. - The Director-General shall head the Secretariat and shall likewise serve as Vice-Chairman of the NEDA Board. He shall be appointed by the President and shall carry the rank and title of Secretary of Socio-Economic Planning and shall be a member of the Cabinet.

        As Chief Executive Officer, he shall exercise general supervision and control over its technical and administrative personnel.

        Sec. 11. Deputy Directors-General. - The Director General shall be assisted by three (3) Deputy Directors-General to be appointed by the President, one to be responsible for the National Development Office, one, for the Regional Development Office and one, for the Central Support Office.

        Sec. 12. Assistant Directors-General. - The Director-General shall also be assisted by five (5) Assistant Directors-General to be appointed by the President, who shall be assigned to assist the Deputy Directors-General in their tasks of coordinating and supervising their respective Offices.

        Sec. 13. National Development Office. - The National Development Office shall provide technical staff support as may be required by the NEDA Board in coordinating the formulation of national and sectoral policies, plans and programs; monitor macro-economic and sectoral performances; prepare the necessary economic reports; conduct economic and development studies on macro-level plans and policies; and perform such other appropriate planning tasks as may be assigned by the Director-General.

        It shall be composed of the following:

        (1) National Planning and Policy Staff;

        (2) Agriculture Staff;

        (3) Trade, Industry and Utilities Staff;

        (4) Infrastructure Staff;

        (5) Social Development Staff; and

        (6) Public Investment Staff.

        Sec. 14. Regional Development Office. - The Regional Development Office shall provide technical staff support as may be required by the implementing agencies in the regions; monitor regional and inter-regional development policies, plans and programs; prepare integrated reports on regional planning conduct studies on regional development policies; and perform such other planning tasks as may be assigned by the Director-General.

        It shall be composed of the following:

        (1) Regional Development Coordination Staff;

        (2) Project Monitoring Staff; and

        (3) Regional Offices.

        In each of the administrative regions, there shall be a regional office which shall be headed by a Regional Director who shall report to the Deputy Director-General for Regional Development Office. The Regional Director shall be appointed by the President.

        Sec. 15. Central Support Office. - The Central Support Office shall be responsible for providing technical assistance and support services to the Secretariat's organizational units in the areas of development administration, internal management improvement, legal services, development information, administrative services, and perform such other support service tasks as may be assigned by the Director-General.

        It shall be composed of the following:

        (1) Management Staff;

        (2) Legal Staff;

        (3) Administrative Staff;

        (4) Management Information System Staff; and

        (5) Development Information Staff.
     

    Chapter 4

    ATTACHED AGENCIES

     
        Sec. 16. Retained Agencies. - The following agencies, currently attached to the Authority, shall continue to be so attached for purposes of supervision;

        (1) Philippine Institute for Development Studies:

        (2) Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating

        Agency; and

        (3) Tariff Commission.

        The Authority shall arrange for the transfer of the functions of the following agencies to the Regional Development Councils concerned or other agencies as may be appropriate:

        (1) Kalinga Special Development Region;

        (2) Laguna Lake Development Authority;

        (3) Leyte Sab-A Basin Development Authority.

        The National Council for integrated Area Development (NACIAD) and the Central Visayas Regional Projects Office (CVRPO) are hereby transferred to the Authority which shall, within one (1) year from the date of effectivity of this Code, recommend their transfer to the appropriate department in conjunction with the Department of Budget and Management. The Authority shall further review the functions and activities of all other Integrated Area Development programs and projects and any other programs requiring multi-sectoral and/or multi-disciplinary approaches in order to recommend the appropriate disposition and supervision of the same.

        The Authority shall furthermore review the mandate, objectives and functions of all development authorities in order to recommend such dispositions or revisions of their charters, as may be deemed advisable.

 

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