Angeles City Library has no librarians, complaint alleges

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com
Angeles City Library has no librarians, complaint alleges
The Angeles City government and the Philippine Regulation Commission is asked to recall the appointment of non-librarians to the Angeles City Library and Information Center.
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MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED 3:26 p.m.)— A licensed librarian has questioned the appointment of non-librarians to the Angeles City Library and Information Center.

In October 2016, Roilingel Calilung, president of the Association of Librarians in Public Sector, asked Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan to recall the appointment of Agnes Gomez as the head of the Angeles City Library and Information Center. 

The complainant said that Gomez, a former Supervising Administrative Officer, is not a licensed librarian as defined by Republic Act No. 9246, or The Philippine Librarianship Act of 2003.

In a follow-up interview, Calilung clarified that the former Librarian II at the City College of Angeles, Mila Narsing, has been transferred to the Angeles City Library as Librarian III this year.

Non-librarians head Angeles City Library

Gomez was appointed officer in charge after city librarian Norma Razon retired. Gomez' appointment was backed by Razon, City Administrator Dennis Pamintuan, Executive Secretary to the Mayor Leonardo Kirk Galanza and by the city mayor.

Under the law, only a “bona fide holder of a Certificate of Registration and Professional Identification Card issued by the Professional Regulatory Board for Librarians and by the Professional Regulation Commission” can be considered a licensed librarian.

Calilung furthered that the Standards for Philippine Public Libraries states that “the library shall be managed by a librarian and shall be supported by para-professional staff.” 

The complainant said he followed up his letter of concern with the mayor in December 2016. Pamintuan has yet to respond.

In June 2017, Calilung addressed his letter to Yolanda Granda, the chair of the Professional Regulatory Board for Librarians of the Professional Regulation Commission and detailed how he received no response from the office of the Angeles City Mayor.

Calilung also complained that there is not even one librarian at the Angeles City Library and Information Center despite vacancies for two Librarian IIIs and a Librarian IV. He said all section heads are non-librarians. 

“I am now requesting your good office to call the attention of all the people concerned regarding the illegal practice of librarianship as specified in the SECTION 26, Article V of the RA 9246 that the Angeles City Library and Information Center is committing for more than a year now,” Calilung said in his letter.

CSC: 'Mayor can appoint anyone he thinks suited for the position'

In the same letter, he also said he raised his concerns with the Civil Service Commission Regional Office III but the commission only said “the city mayor has the right to appoint whoever he or she thinks is suited for the position. “

Calilung recently told Philstar.com that inaction by the local government on his complaint prompted him to resign from his Librarian III post at the Angeles City Library.

He said that he was also dissatisfied with the reasoning of the CSC.

“[The CSC] told me that as long as Ms. Agnes doesn't use the librarian position, then it's accepted,” Calilung told Philstar.com in an online interview.

“What makes me sad is that even if she doesn't use the librarian position, she functions as librarian as reflected in Section 5, Article of RA 9246 or the Scope of the Practice of Librarianship,” he added.

Calilung is affiliated with the Philippine Librarians Association Inc. (PLAI), the accredited professional organization of librarians under the Professional Regulation Commission as national treasurer; PLAI-Central Luzon Region Librarians Council as president; and Librarians Association of Metro Pampanga as founding president and current vice president.

His complaint to the Angeles City government and the PRC was sent to Philstar.com after another licensed librarian, Vernon Totanes, accused President Rodrigo Duterte of violating Republic Act 9246 when he appointed Ceasar Gilbert Adriano to the post of Director IV of the National Library of the Philippines. Adriano is a not a registered librarian.

READ: Check out appointment of 'National Non-Librarian,' Ombudsman asked | Palace to 'look into' National Library's non-librarian director

Totanes filed his letter of complaint before the Ombudsman and the Malacañang said it is leaving the probe on Adriano with the anti-graft office.

Adriano recently told Philstar.com that he would answer the allegations against him in a proper venue.



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