Cebu News

New budget officer named after council rejects Castillo

Iris Hazel Mascardo - The Freeman
New budget officer named after council rejects Castillo
Acting Cebu City Mayor Raymond Garcia a more diplomatic city government under his watch. He says he will handle things at City Hall “differently”.
Aldo Nelbert Banaynal

CEBU, Philippines — Acting Cebu City Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia has designated a new budget officer after the City Council rejected the appointment of Atty. Jerone Castillo.

Garcia announced the designation of assistant budget officer Roseny Reyes as the new city budget officer during a press conference yesterday. The acting mayor said that the designation of Reyes was prompted by a letter he received from the Human Resource Development Office (HRDO) informing him of the council’s refusal to confirm Castillo’s appointment as budget officer.

“So mao na nga wala naman siya, kay gi reject naman, ang pangutana kung pwede ba sya makabalik? Right now, miingon ang HRDO nga dili kuno pwede makabalik, right now niingon ang HRDO nako nga dili kuno pwede,” Garcia told the media.

Garcia said he instructed the HRDO to seek legal opinion from the Civil Service Commission.

“Paaboton nato unsay tubag sa Civil Service,” said Garcia.

Pending the civil service opinion, Reyes will be reporting to the office as City Budget Officer.

On May 25, 2024, the City Council denied Castillo’s application for reappointment.

Castillo’s lawyer, Maricris Bathan-Lasco, however, questioned the city council’s action before the Civil Service Commission citing alleged error in the endorsement made by the HRDO to the council.

“The act of endorsing the appointment papers to the SP knowing that the same were incomplete constitutes grave abuse of discretion resulting to constructive dismissal,” read a portion of Castillo’s letter to CSC.

It added that the denial of confirmation of Castillo’s appointment by the council “was an inevitable consequence” when the HRDO proceeded with the submission and endorsement of the appointment papers even though it was allegedly “incomplete”.

It further stated that such denial was invalid adding that prior to the endorsement to the council, no appointment had been made due to the absence of now-suspended Mayor Michael Rama as appointing officer.

HRDO head Henry Tomalabcad asserted that Castillo was appointed on May 7, 2024. A day after, the Office of the Ombudsman placed Rama under six months preventive suspension.

“In this case, the absence of Hon. Mayor Michael Rama's signature as the appointing officer can be attributed (to) the fact that he was on official business on the alleged date of appointment,” the letter further read.

It also stated that on May 7, 2024, Rama was in Manila for official duties as the President of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), among other appointments.

“The act of deliberately endorsing the incomplete appointment papers to the SP was a grave abuse of discretion on the part of Cebu City's Head of HRDO that led to Atty. Castillo's constructive dismissal, as it rendered his ongoing employment impossible or unlikely,” it added. — (FREEMAN)

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