Governor Joseph Cua is standing pat on its policy that all job order contracts must be approved by the provincial chief executive, as it described as “very unfortunate” the assertion of Vice Governor Jose Teves Jr.that the DILG erred in rendering an opinion on the matter.
“We tenaciously reiterate our elucidated stand,” Cua said in a letter to Teves last Friday (May 3), furnishing the latter copies of DILG Opinion No. 31, s. 2009, on practically the same matter raised by then San Andres Vice Mayor Alan del Valle in 2009.
The controversy between the two branches of the provincial government began sometime in February when Gov. Cua issued a memorandum stressing the authority of the governor to approve the hiring of all non-plantilla job order employees in all offices and departments, including the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
The memo was based on DILG Opinion No. 17, s. 2010, which states that while vice mayor appoints employees whose salaries are paid out of funds appropriated for the Sanggunian and included in its plantilla, the mayor has the authority to hire casual employees not provided for in the Sanggunian plantilla and hired through job order contracts.
Teves and the provincial board took exception to the memo and insisted that the pronouncement of the Supreme Court in Atienza vs. Villarosa in GR No. 161081 that the vice governor has the authority to appoint casual and job order employees whose salaries are paid out of funds appropriated for the SP.0
In reply, the governor cited a recent COA report disallowing in audit a cash advance of P2.4 million used to pay for wages of SB contractual employees in San Andres. The COA quoted DILG Opinion No. 31 to wit: “notwithstanding the place of assignment to where these job order employees would render service, or from whose fund the payment of wages of these employees were sourced, the power to sign the corresponding job order contract of these employees remained in the Municipal Mayor.”
The differences between Cua and Teves took a turn for the worse on April 19 when the latter wrote the governor to say that his reliance on the DILG legal opinion is “ill-advised” and that his office’s interpretation of the SC case “is not only short-sighted but is likewise badly informed.”
The SC en banc decision never mentioned anything about plantilla or non-plantilla job order employees, Teves stated. He added that the DILG carelessly rendered an opinion on a matter which only the High Court can interpret.
In the latest salvo fired by Gov. Cua, he said that his office never interpreted the Atienza-Villarosa case and that what it cited are faithful quotations on the DILG opinion and COA decision. “Our prescribed Job Order Form is an offshoot of the DILG opinion and COA decision wherein the approving authority is the governor,” he added.