Catanduanes State University (CatSU) president Dr. Minerva I. Morales didn’t resign from her office, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) told the then president on-leave a few days before she reassumed her post on July 1, 2020.
“…(I)t is the opinion of the undersigned that per Section 104 of the 2017 Omnibus Rules on Appointment and Other Human Resource Actions (revised in 2018), no complete and operative resignation took place during the last board meeting since the measures enumerated by the said section were not complied with,” Commissioner Dr. Aldrin A. Darilag stated in his June 29 letter to Morales.
He cited the issue raised by Regent Santiago Gabionza during said meeting that a formal written letter of resignation must still be submitted as basis and reference in order for the CatSU BOR to accept such resignation and issue a written notice of acceptance to the resigning official.
Commissioner Darilag was responding to Pres. Morales’ June 19 letter requesting that she be allowed to shorten her vacation leave and report to work effective June 22, 2020.
The CatSU president also said she was constrained to withdraw her intent to resign as expressed during the May 20, 2020 board meeting in order to attend to a matter involving her appointment to her second and final term which she claimed has severe implications on CatSU transactions and operations.
Morales had informed the Commission that its Catanduanes office had said that it has no records of her appointment as SUC President III, effective March 25, 2017, for her second term.
There were also no records on file at the university, she said, except for the signed CHED appointment, oath of office and minutes of board meeting.
It appeared that the Board Secretary and the Human Resource Management Services failed to process her appointment papers in CSC Form for her reappointment in 2017 which resulted to the non-issuance of said document by the BOR, she said.
In the CHED commissioner’s reply, Dr. Darilag asked Morales to issue an office order terminating the designation of the Vice President for Administrative and Financial Affairs as OIC-President. He also requested the president to explain to the CatSU BOR why she had to cut short her requested vacation leave.
“However, in order to clarify the ambiguities and uncertainties arising from the issues raised, may I suggest to include these as agenda items to be deliberated on by the CatSU BOR in its upcoming special BOR meeting for the supposed designation of an OIC,” the commissioner said.
He expressed hope that by the time the meeting is held, the legal opinion sought from the CHED Legal and Legislative Services is already available so as to provide adequate guidelines for the BOR in rendering resolution to the concerns.
Following the receipt of the CHED letter, Pres. Morales issued an order terminating the OIC’s designation effective June 30, 2020.
For weeks since the designation of the OIC, some transactions and procedures at the university had been put on hold, including the renewal of appointments of job order personnel who will play a key role in the enrolment for the upcoming semester.
During the last BOR meeting, Morales said she would go on leave and then resign from the post on August 1, 2020 to pave the way for the designation of an OIC.
A former congressman, who sits as representative of the chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Education, had questioned her stay at the post, considering that she reached the compulsory retirement age of 65 last April 10, 2020.
A Supreme Court ruling, however, holds that a holder of a fixed term may continue in the position until the end of the term even if he or she has reached retirement age.