No firings, more jobs created: Reengineering the capitol bureaucracy

Capitol employees have every reason to celebrate an early merry Christmas, after Governor Rodolfo P. del Rosario kept his promise to terminate no one in the total reorganization of Davao del Norte’s bureaucracy.
Beyond initiating innovative projects that improve the quality of life of the Dabaonons, the governor reinvented the Capitol bureaucracy in order for it to respond better to the needs and priority concerns of the provincial government.
Gov. Del Rosario and Vice Governor Victorio Suaybaguio, who are the appointing authorities in the executive and legislative branches of the provincial government, respectively, upheld the security of tenure of close to a thousand permanent employees of the province when they signed the appointments for the new plantilla of personnel.
The governor earlier said the purpose of the reorganization is not to fire people but to ensure an effective, efficient and more responsive provincial government that is able to meet the demand of the people for excellent public service.
The process, he said, entails putting the right person in the job. It is achieved through streamlining bloated offices/divisions/sections/units and strengthening those that lack manpower capabilities “giving impetus to the placement of personnel with integrity, intelligence and high energy level.”
In realizing the general reorganization, all positions in every office of the provincial government were deemed vacant.
Under the Local Government Code, the local chief executives, being the appointing authorities, have the widest discretion in appointing LGU personnel.
Del Rosario referred to the placement list prepared by the Provincial Placement Committee which assessed the qualifications of incumbents or aspirants for the positions in terms of their relative fitness.
The most qualified and competent applicants were preferred, based on the following factors: 1) performance for the last two years; 2) education and training; 3) experience and outstanding accomplishments; and, 4) physical characteristics and personality traits.
With the governor’s policy of no termination, qualified officers or employees were either retained in their incumbent positions or promoted to higher positions. New, casual or temporary personnel who are qualified were also given permanent appointments.
Reinvigorating
It’s been 18 years since the province last implemented general reorganization in 1991, under the watch of the late Governor Prospero Amatong.
With the creation of the daughter province of Compostela Valley in 1998, Del Rosario, who was then a neophyte governor, carried out a partial reorganization a year later in order to meet the requirements of a leaner Davao del Norte government. Some offices were further restructured before his previous term ended in 2004.
Provincial Administrator Rufo Peligro, who was the authorized representative of the governor to both the reorganization and placement committees, said the ongoing reorganization places premium on quick response and faster delivery of the services of the province in pursuit of reforms in local governance that the governor instituted under his RDR WHEELS impact agenda.
This year’s reorganization focused on strengthening the human resource which will undertake the intensified delivery of Capitol services, particularly with the release of the stimulus package where some P231 million is allotted to fund 339 various infrastructure projects in all the 223 barangays of the province. 
A member of the placement committee, who asked to remain anonymous, said the creation of new positions and all appointments in the new organizational structure took into consideration the mandated personal services ceiling which is not to exceed 45 percent of the total annual income as provided for by RA 7160.
Hence, the new plantilla of personnel did not exceed 50 percent of the old structure and staffing pattern.
The Capitol executive bared the number of positions in the new organizational structure rose to 43 percent compared to the previous structure of the province. However, the plantilla positions will not be fully filled up because of the prescribed ceiling.
Only in Norte
Two new offices of the provincial government were created while two other important departments were streamlined, as more people are needed to fast-track the realization of important programs and projects of the province.
The newly-created departments are the Provincial Information Office (PIO) and the Provincial Administrators Office (PAdO). The Provincial Engineer’s Office (PEO) was renamed into Provincial Equipment Management and Project Implementation Office (PEMPIO), while the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) is now called Provincial Planning, Engineering and Development Office (PPEDO).
The planning division under the former PEO was transferred to the PPEDO, which now undertake both the general and infrastructure planning works of the province. PEMPIO is now being tasked to sharpen its focus in beefing up implementation of crucial infrastructure projects.
An official of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) in the region affirmed the new structures of the two offices are unique in the Province of Davao del Norte, among all the other LGUs in Mindanao , if not in the whole country.
However, the official assured the modification was allowed under RA 7160.
Appeal
The same Capitol executive said that the reorganization process is almost done. Citing civil service rules, the official added after all appointment papers were signed by the governor, the list of personnel appointed to the positions in the approved staffing pattern shall be posted in conspicuous places at the Capitol within 15 days.
Based on the rules of the reorganization, Any officer or employee aggrieved by the appointments made may file an appeal with the appointing authority within ten days from the last day of posting of the appointments.
Any officer or employee whose service is terminated may also appeal to the appointing authority within ten days from receipt of his/her notice of termination.
The appointing authority shall render a decision on the appeals within thirty days from the filing thereof.
If the officer or employee is still not satisfied with such decision of the appointing authority, he or she may further appeal within ten days from receipt thereof to the Civil Service Commission.