595 Career Executive Service positions in gov't remain vacant: exec

Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 06 2022 05:10 PM

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MANILA — Of the 2,820 Career Executive Service (CES) positions in the government, 595 remain vacant as of Sept. 30, an official said Thursday.

According to CES Board executive director Maria Marcy Cosare-Ballesteros at a Senate hearing, CES positions, all of whom are appointed by the President, including the following:

•Undersecretary
•Assistant Secretary
•Bureau Director
•Bureau Assistant Director
•Regional Director
•Assistant Regional Director
•Department Service Chief

And of the total filled CES positions, only 45 percent are occupied by CESO and CES eligibles. Ballesteros noted that this figure has been on a gradual decline from 53 percent in 2016 and 2017.

"‘Yun ang gusto namin i-address in our strategic direction. To enjoin also our department secretaries and through stronger collaboration with the Office of the President that we hope we will be able to increase the occupancy rate of our CESOs and eligbles in the CES positions,” Ballesteros told the Senate Finance Subcommittee that deliberated on CESB’s proposed 2023 budget.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros, who chaired the subcommittee, asked: “What accounts for the non-filling up of that ngayon?”

“The appointment, as you know, is the prerogative of the President under the constitution. And perhaps with the transition, they’re still trying to fill up some of the positions,” Ballesteros replied.

She added that the CESB has compiled a list of vacant CES positions, as well as CESO and CES eligibles per government agency to assist the appointing authority. 

The board also sent letters to new Cabinet Secretaries and had a dialogue with the human resources department of government offices to help increase the occupancy rate.

The CESB said a new track is available for the CES eligibility of presidential appointees, where they won’t have to take the CES-Written Examination, and instead go through the “onboarding program”. The first batch for this program is still undergoing the targeted competency intervention.

“We now have a new track for CES eligibility of our presidential appointee. We call it the Portfolio Assessment for CES eligibility process," Ballesteros said.

"There’s no written exam. But they have to go through an onboarding program. It’s a development oriented approach, where they undergo dasaldiwa and gabay as their onboarding. And then after that, they go through like an assessment center. But it’s not a pass or fail system," she added.

"We call it a leadership and management competency alignment. There, our assessors are able to identify their development opportunities and areas for improvement. With that result, they go through a targeted competency intervention to address those development opportunities,” Ballesteros explained.

“After the targeted competency intervention, they also undergo the 360 degrees performance validation with integrity check, and also the panel interview, before their application is deliberated by the board for conferment of CES eligiblity."

The CESB has a proposed 2023 budget of P88.3 million, 20 percent higher than its 2022 budget of P73.13 million. 

The Senate subcommittee approved the proposed budget.

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