August 30, 2017

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) reminded government agencies to strictly abide by the rules on publication and posting of vacancies to ensure transparency and equal opportunities in the recruitment and hiring of government workers.

The CSC said that vacant positions authorized to be filled should be published and posted in at least three (3) conspicuous places for a period of at least 10 calendar days for national government agencies, government owned or controlled corporations, and state universities and colleges (per Republic Act No. 7041 or An Act Requiring Regular Publication of Existing Vacant Positions in Government Offices, Appropriating Funds Therefore, And For Other Purposes), and at least 15 calendar days for local government units (per Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991).

It added that, under the new 2017 Omnibus Rules on Appointments and Other Human Resource Actions (ORAOHRA), which took effect on August 17, the screening, evaluation, and deliberation of applicants by the agency’s Human Resource Merit Promotion and Selection Board (HRMPSB) should begin only after the mandatory publication period.

The certification on the publication and posting of the vacant position, including the date the deliberation was conducted by the HRMPSB, should be duly signed by the authorized Human Resource Management Officer at the back of the appointment form.

“We included this new provision in the ORAOHRA in light of reports that some agencies post their vacancy in compliance with the publication requirement, but they tell interested applicants that the position has already been filled up,” the CSC said.

The CSC added that “this practice runs opposite to the intent of the law, that is, to give both internal and external applicants equal opportunity to vie for vacancies and to ensure fairness and transparency in the recruitment and selection process in government.”

The ORAOHRA has also extended the validity of a publication from six months to nine months, and in case no appointment is issued within the nine-month period, the agency has to re-publish and re-post the vacancy. The CSC said that applications arising from a re-published vacancy should be assessed according to the agency’s standard recruitment procedures.

Another requirement in the ORAOHRA is the submission of a certification, signed by the Chairperson of the HRMPSB at the back of the appointment, which specifies that the majority of the HRMPSB members was present during the deliberation. Alternatively, a copy of the proceedings or minutes of the HRMPSB deliberation may be submitted together with the appointment.

The CSC said that this new provision places the responsibility on the agency’s HRMPSB to undertake a fair and impartial assessment of candidates, thus ensuring that appointees in government are hired based on merit and fitness, not on personal whim or political favor.

New rules

The 2017 ORAOHRA, which the CSC launched to the public on August 30, 2017 in its central office in Quezon City, updates and consolidates the various issuances on appointments and other human resource (HR) actions in the civil service. It took effect on August 17, 2017.

The Omnibus Rules contains clear definitions and guidelines on the different types of employment status (e.g., permanent, temporary, substitute, coterminous, fixed term, contractual, casual); nature of appointment (e.g., original, promotion, transfer, reemployment, reappointment, reinstatement, demotion, reclassification); and other HR actions (e.g., reassignment, detail, designation).

It devotes entire sections to rules on probationary period, effectivity and submission of appointments, qualification standards, resignation, and prohibited acts, among others.

Highlights of the 2017 ORAOHRA include the following:

•  Serves as ready guide for the entire appointment process in the first and second level including executive/managerial positions

•  Aligns the rules on appointments with the Program to Institutionalize Meritocracy and Excellence in Human Resource Management (PRIME-HRM) standards particularly in the area of recruitment, selection and placement

•  Empowers and clarifies roles of appointing officers and Human Resource Management Officers (HRMOs) in the recruitment and selection process

•  Protects the interests of the appointees by providing clear guidelines on the nature and status of appointments and other human resource actions such as reappointment and reassignment

•  Renames Promotion and Selection Board (PSB) to Human Resource Merit Promotion and Selection Board (HRMPSB) with corresponding shift in role from assistorial to recommending body for appointment

•  Incorporates common and specific requirements for each type of appointment

•  Prescribes user-friendly and simplified forms for the HRMOs and the CSC

•  Supports maintenance of electronic database of agency human resource information

A copy of the rules can be downloaded here.