Tacloban City (January 7) – The Commission on Elections has ordered a freeze on hiring, promotion, salary increase, and transfer of government employees during the election period.
Through Resolution 8737 promulgated on Dec. 29, the Comelec said that from January 10 to June 9, there shall be no transfers of public officials or employees, including teachers, to other government agencies or to other divisions or field offices of their current agencies without permission from the poll body.
Elected local officials may also not be suspended unless for the prosecution of corruption under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
From March 26 to May 10, heads of national and local government offices cannot appoint or hire new employees whether on a permanent, provisional, temporary, substitute, or casual basis. They are also not allowed to create and fill in any new position.
“No government official shall promote or give any increase of salary or remuneration or privilege to any government official or employee, including those in government-owned or controlled corporations,” the resolution said.
The resolution stated that the poll body must first be notified if there is an urgent need to fill in positions.
Sec. 261 of the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines provides the following shall be guilty of an election offense:
“(g) Appointment of new employees, creation of new position promotion, or giving salary increases. – During the period of forty five (45) days before regular election and thirty days before a special election (1) any head, official or appointing officer of a government office, agency or instrumentality, whether national or local, including government-owned or controlled corporations, who appoints or hires any new employee, whether provisional, temporary or casual, or creates and fills any new positions, except upon prior authority of the Commission. The Commission shall not grant the authority sought unless, it is satisfied that the position to be filled is essential to the proper functioning of the office or agency concerned, and that the position shall not be filled in a manner that may influence the election.”
“As an exception to the foregoing provisions, a new employee may be appointed in case of urgent need: Provided, however, that notice of the appointment shall be given to the Commission within three days from the date of the appointment. Any appointment or hiring in violation of this provision shall be null and void.”
“(h) Transfer of officers and employees in the civil service. – Any public official who makes or causes any transfer or detail whatever of any officer or employee in the civil service including public school teachers, within the election period except upon approval of the Commission.”
“(x) Suspension of elective provincial, city, municipal or barangay officer. – The provisions of law to the contrary notwithstanding during the election period, any public official who suspends, without prior approval of the Commission, any elective provincial, city, municipal or barangay officer, unless said suspension will be for purposes of applying the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act in relation to the suspension and removal of elective officials; in which case the provision of this section shall be in applicable.” (PIA 8)