The committee hearings of the Commission on Appointments have become very controversial most especially the non-concurrence of the appointment of Gina Lopez as Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The Local Government unit having a structure similar to that of the National Government has its own version of the process of appointing certain personnel. In the national government, the appointments needing concurrence are positions of department secretaries which are co-terminus with the president. In the local level however, the positions needing concurrence are permanent. The Local Government Code provides: “Section 443(d). Unless otherwise provided by herein, heads of departments and offices shall be appointed by the municipal mayor with the concurrence of the majority of all the Sangguniang Bayan members, subject to Civil Service law, rules, and regulations.”
Montuerto vs. Ty et. al.
Melanie Montuero was appointed as Budget Officer by the then mayor Supremo Sabitsana on 17 March 1992. On 14 January 2002 the Sangguniang Bayan passed a resolution asking that the Civil Service Commission (CSC) revoke the appointment of Montuerto since her appointment was not concurred by the Sangguniang Bayan. The regional office of the CSC ordered the recall of the appointment of Montuerto. The CSC central office denied Melanie’s appeal and affirmed her dismissal for lack of the required concurrence by the SB. Montuerto in her bid to cling on to her position submitted an affidavit by former SB members which stated that her appointment on one of its sessions “was not highlighted and the concurrence was inadvertently omitted in the minutes” (G.R. 177736, October 6, 2008). The SB Secretary however, submitted a certification stating that Montuerto’s appointment was not “submitted to the SB for concurrence”.
Muntuerto is Dismissed
The Supreme Court upheld the decision of the CSC. Even after holding office as budget officer for over 10 years without the concurrence of the SB, Montuerto cannot continue to hold the same. The Local Government Code is very clear, the appointment of the budget officer being a department head requires the concurrence of the Sangguniang Bayan. The SC said: “The verbal concurrence allegedly given by the Sanggunian, as postulated by the petitioner, is not the concurrence required… The Sanggunian as a body acts through a resolution or an ordinance. Absent such resolution of concurrence, the appointment of petitioner failed to comply with the mandatory requirement of Section 443 (a) and (d) of R.A. 7160.” Melanie Montuerto was dismissed as budget officer.