MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III on Friday revoked an executive order issued by his predecessor, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, that automatically promoted lawyers in government executive service to the rank of Career Executive Service Officer III (CESO III).
Executive Order No. 3, signed last July 30, stated that Arroyo's EO 883 issued last May 28 automatically vests lawyers occupying legal positions in the government executive service "who have obtained graduate degrees in law and successfully passed their bar examinations” with the rank of CESO III.
It said EO 883 encroaches on the power of the Career Executive Service Board to promulgate rules, standards and procedures on the selection, classification, compensation and career development of members of the CES.
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Ed de Mesa said the Arroyo EO also amends Section (2) article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution, which states that "appointments in the civil service shall be made only according to merit and fitness...by competitive examination."
"The law gives the CESB the authority to determine who gets the CESO rank. This EO 883 effectively amended that law and we just want to set that right," he told ANC.
De Mesa said he had heard rumors that EO 883 was intended to favor "a certain group of lawyers in the government service." He said the CES Board informed the Aquino administration about the problematic EO after receiving complaints from other officials who had to undergo the regular process to obtain a higher CESO rank.
"You have to take an examination, seminars and then interviews and immersion exercise for 2 weeks before the CESB recommends you for appointment. Some have to work hard for a year or more to get a CESO rank and now they are at par with people who did no work to get their CESO rank," he said.
De Mesa said the Aquino government is also reviewing other executive orders issued by the previous administration. President Aquino earlier issued Executive Order No. 2, which revoked the appointments made by the past government allegedly after March 10 or two months before the national elections.
Below is the full text of Executive Order No. 3
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 3
AN EXECUTIVE ORDER REVOKING EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 883 DATED 28 May 2010
WHEREAS, Section (2) article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution states that “appointments in the civil service shall be made only according to merit and fitness to be determined, as far as practicable, and, except to positions which are policy-determining, primarily confidential, or highly technical, by competitive examination.”
WHEREAS, under article IV, Chapter I, Part III of the Integrated Reorganizational Plan under P.D. No. 1, the exclusive power to “promulgate rules, standards and procedures on the selection, classification, compensation and career development of members of the Career Executive service (CES)” is vested with the Career Executive Service Board (CESB);
WHEREAS, under section 8, Chapter II, book V of EO 292 or the Administrative Code of 1987, “entrance to the third level (Career Executive Service) shall be prescribed by the CESB”;
WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 883 dated 28 May 2010 automatically vests lawyers “occupying legal positions in the government executive service who have obtained graduate degrees in law and successfully passed their bar examinations” with the rank of CESO III in the CES;
WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 883 encroaches upon the power of the CESB to “promulgate rules, standards and procedures on the selection, classification, compensation and career development of members of the Career Executive service (CES)” vested by law with the Career Executive Service Board (CESB);
WHEREAS, from the foregoing, it is evident that EO 883 amounts to a repeal or amendment of the provisions of P.D. 1 and E.O. 292 which were issued when the President had legislative powers, hence illegal and void.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BENIGNO S. AQUINO III, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution as President of the Republic of the Philippine by law, do hereby declare:
SECTION 1. Revocation – Executive Order No. 883 dated 28 May 2010 is hereby revoked.
SECTION 2. Repealing Clause – All executive orders, administrative orders, proclamations, rules and regulations or parts thereof that are in conflict with this Executive Order are hereby modified accordingly.
SECTION 3. Effectivity– This Executive order shall take effect immediately.
DONE in the City of Manila, this 30th day of July, in the year of our Lord, Two Thousand and Ten.
(Sgd.) BENIGNO S. AQUINO III
By the President:
(Sgd. )PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR.