Friday, July 17, 2015

CSur ‘ghost employee’ surfaces, wants name dropped from payroll

NAGA CITY—A woman who identified herself as a “ghost employee” of the Capitol of Camarines Sur has come out in a tell-all interview to expose the alleged illegal transaction at the seat of the provincial government.

'Ghost employee' of Camarines Sur?
'Ghost employee' of Camarines Sur?
“All I want to do is to clear my name and punish those who are involved,” Margiel Brugada Carinan, a resident of Zone 2, Barangay Salvacion, Tinambac, Camarines Sur told the BICOL STANDARD in an interview.

Carinan said she discovered last week that since January 2014 to June 2015, the Provincial Capitol has been religiously paying her Pag-Ibig Fund contributions and Philhealth dues.

The problem was that according to her, she was not, and has never been, an employee of the provincial government.

“I presume that someone is receiving the monthly salary in my name, which is why my name was included in the payroll,” she said.

Seeking aid

Alarmed at her discovery, Carinan said she went to the Regional Office of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to seek the help of the agency to find out why her name was included in the payroll of the provincial government.

Yesterday, she returned to the office for a follow-up, and learned that she is paid the sum of P409.00 daily as a contractual employee of the provincial government.

Again, she vehemently denied having received a single centavo.

Job application

Carinan suspected that her inclusion in the payroll has something to do with her being asked to sign a job application in January 2014.

She said she was asked by Salvador “Vonchi” Ababan, Jr. to sign an application to work for the provincial government, under the Office of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

At that time, she was living with “Vonchi” under a common-law relationship, since the latter is legally married.

“Vonchi” is the younger brother of Carmel Ababan-Velarde, wife of Tinambac Mayor Ruel Velarde, making “Vonchi” the mayor’s brother-in-law.

The Velardes are political allies of the Camarines Sur provincial administration.

During her common-law relationship with “Vonchi,” Carinan lived in the glassware store that was owned by Carmel Ababan-Velarde, but was registered under the name of “Vonchi.”

Reasoning out that he cannot use his family name or the name Velarde, “Vonchi” allegedly instructed Carinan to sign an application letter.

“After I filled up the application form, I was never informed as to whether it was approved or not. I never reported for work, nor visited the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, even once. Nor did I go to the place where, according to records, I was allegedly assigned to work,” she explained.


On November 9, 2014, Carinan left “Vonchi” after a huge fight.

She claimed she was maltreated by her former common-law husband.

Her relationship having fallen apart, Carinan decided to return to her parents’ house in Barangay Salvacion.

On November 22, she moved to Taytay, Rizal with her mother to look for a job.

Already employed?

“On March 30, 2015, I applied for a job at a fast food chain in Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro. I was asked to complete the requirements for work, which included membership in Pag-Ibig,” Carinan related.

“I was so shocked when I discovered that the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur had been paying for my contributions since January 2014. I was ready to report for work at the fast food chain when the management told me that I was presently employed in the government,” she said.

Deeply confused, she travelled to Camarines Sur to verify from the Human Resources (HR) Office of the Provincial Capitol whether her name truly appears on the payroll.

“I went to the HR and pretended to look for Margiel B. Carinan because I had an important matter to discuss with her. The Capitol employee was not aware that I was merely verifying whether my name was really included in the list,” she said.

“Imagine my surprise when I was told that Margiel B. Carinan was deployed, and was working at the Provincial Government Hospital!” she remarked.


Outraged that her name was used without her permission, and that someone may be receiving payment in her name, Carinan decided to file a complaint.

“I will file a complaint against all persons involved in using my name for these illegal transactions. I want my name to be removed from the payroll of the Provincial Government because I have never been an employee nor worked with the said office,” she insisted.

She told the BICOL STANDARD that she already discussed the alleged anomaly with anti-crime watchdog Citizens Crime Watch (CCW) after learning that the group has a pending complaint against the local government unit for its supposed “ghost employees.”

“Ano ta pigpapasweldo an pangaran ko?” an apalled Carinan asked, “Dae man ako nagtatrabaho sainda. Herak man kan masunod na henerasyon ko kun madidigtaan sana kan salang gibo kan iba.”


Vice Governor Ato Peña, however, said he already dismissed Carinan because she was allegedly not reporting for work.

In an interview by BICOL STANDARD, Peña said Carinan was even instructed to explain her absences.

At present, Carinan is no longer connected to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Peña said.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

LOOK: Peñaranda Park, Legazpi City

Legazpi City-based production team Mashed Creatives shared on Facebook these breathtaking pictures of Peñaranda Park in Legazpi City. The gorgeous photos, shot with the aid of a drone, captured the ethereal, almost otherworldly glow of lights in the stunning urban landscape.

Mashed Creatives on Facebook


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Naga City tops PH component cities

Naga City was awarded first place in the Component Cities Category during the 3rd Regional Competitiveness Summit at the Philippine International Convention Center in Metro Manila this afternoon.

Naga City bested other component cities such as San Fernando, Imus, Cotabato, Bacoor, Antipolo, Dasmarinas, Tagum, San Fernando, and Batangas.

Component cities, according to the National Competitiveness Council, are cities which do not meet the requirements of a Highly Urbanized City (such as Manila, Makati, Cebu, Quezon, and Davao). If a component city is located within the boundaries of two (2) or more provinces, such city shall be considered a component of the province of which it used to be a municipality.

Naga City also bagged first place in the areas of for economic dynamism, government efficiency, and infrastructure, again in the Component Cities category.

The other awardees from Bicol are:
  • Polangui, Albay, a first class municipality - 5th place in Economic Dynamism among municipalities
  • Daet, Camarines Norte, a first class municipality - 8th place in Infrastructure among municipalities
  • Tigaon, Camarines Sur, a third class municipality - 10th place in the overall ranking of 3rd to 6th class municipalities; 9th place in government efficiency among 3rd to 6th class municipalities
  • Legazpi City - 11th place in infrastructure among component cities and number 15 in overall ranking of component cities
  • Tabaco City - 4th place in goverment efficiency among component cities

Cities and municipalities were ranked on their competitiveness based on an overall competitiveness score. The overall competitiveness score is the sum of scores on three main pillars which pool data from several sub-indicators. The three main pillars are: economic dynamism, government efficiency and infrastructure. Scores are determined by the values of the actual data, as well as the completeness of the submitted data.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM Pirming enot. Pirming bago.


Love online shopping? DTI has tips to avoid scams

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) while recognizing the contribution of online shopping to an active economy, cautions buyers against fraud and scams when shopping online.

DTI-3 Director Judith P. Angeles said that just like any selling platform, the Internet is not devoid of unscrupulous individuals who would take advantage of others in a selling activity whether goods are sold face-to-face or online.

Director Angeles also cautions consumers to be wary of online sellers that have no business name, address, help desk, live chat or contact details.

“Consumer rights are not diluted or lessened just because the transaction is done online, Article 50 of the Consumer Act considers practices as deceptive when there is false representation or manipulation in a sale or transaction” she added.

At present, DTI is pushing for laws that protect the rights of consumers who transact online. DTI Undersecretary Victorio Mario Dimagiba reported that the agency has proposed amendments to the Consumer Act, expanding consumer protection measures which include online shopping and e-commerce transactions.

Republic Act No, 8792 or the E-Commerce Act, strengthens the recognition of online transactions as valid legal transactions. Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Act enhances consumer protection by considering illegal acts committed through the internet as crimes punishable by law, whether the person is registered at DTI or the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or is not registered as a seller.

The Department of Justice Office of Cybercrime came up with an Advisory on April 30, 2015 cautioning consumers on the prevalence of online illegal acts such as: frauds and scams, misleading or deceptive product advertisements, difficulty in returns and replacements, unexpected transaction costs and surcharges, privacy breaches and abuse of user data and chaotic delivery procedures.

The advisory said that consumers should consider the following “red flags” of an online shopping fraud:

1. Products are advertised at very low prices compared to other websites

2. Online sellers which have poor ratings or feedback

3. Online sellers ask buyers to pay by money transfer direct to their bank account instead of a preferred payment method

4. Website do not have contact details such as a physical address or telephone number

5. Website have little or no information about privacy and terms and conditions of use

NDRRMC issues updates on Mayon, Bulusan volcanoes

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has published its latest updates on the activity at Mayon Volcano and Bulusan Volcano, both of which are in the Bicol region.

Mayon Volcano

Mayon Volcano’s alert status is currently at Alert Level 2. This means the volcano is at a moderate level of magmatic unrest. Although the volcano is currently exhibiting low-level of seismic activity, ground deformation data indicates that eruptible magma had already accumulated the previous year beneath the edifice. Current conditions may still change and eventually lead to hazardous eruption. The public is still reminded to avoid entry into the 6- km Permanent Danger Zone or PDZ due to perennial hazards of rockfalls, avalanche, ash puffs and sudden steam-driven or phreatic eruptions at the summit area. Furthermore, people living in valleys and active river channels are cautioned to remain vigilant against sediment-laden streamflows and lahars in the event of prolonged and heavy rainfall. PHIVOLCS-DOST is closely monitoring Mayon Volcano’s activity and any new development will be immediately posted to all concerned.

Mayon Volcano’s seismic monitoring network did not detect any volcanic earthquake during the past 24 hours. Steaming activity and crater glow was not observed due to thick clouds covering the summit area. Precise leveling surveys on April 30 to May 4, 2015 indicated slight deflation of the edifice relative to the March 2015 surveys, although the edifice remains inflated relative to baseline levels.

Precautionary Measures

The public is still reminded to avoid entry into the 6-km Permanent Danger Zone or PDZ due to perennial hazards of rockfalls, avalanche, ash puffs and sudden steam-driven or phreatic eruptions at the summit area. Furthermore, people living in valleys and active river channels are cautioned to remain vigilant against sediment-laden streamflows and lahars in the event of prolonged and heavy rainfall. PHIVOLCS-DOST is closely monitoring Mayon Volcano’s activity and any new development will be immediately posted to all concerned

Mt. Bulusan

Alert Level 1 (abnormal) remains in effect over Bulusan Volcano. This indicates that hydrothermal processes are underway beneath the volcano that may lead to more steam-driven eruptions. Bulusan volcano’s (12046.2°N, 124°03.E°) seismic monitoring network did not detect any volcanic earthquake during the past 24 hours. Steaming activity was not observed due to thick clouds covering the summit area. Precise leveling surveys on 23-28 June 2015 indicate very slight inflation of the volcano’s edifice relative to May 2015.

Precautionary Measures

The local government units and the public are reminded that entry to the 4-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) is strictly prohibited due to the possibility of sudden and hazardous steam-driven or phreatic eruptions. Civil aviation authorities must also advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as ash from any sudden phreatic eruption can be hazardous to aircraft. Furthermore, people living within valleys and along river/stream channels especially on the southwest and northwest sector of the edifice should be vigilant against sediment-laden stream flows and lahars in the event of heavy and prolonged rainfall. DOST- PHIVOLCS is closely monitoring Bulusan Volcano’s condition and any new development will be relayed to all concerned.

Luzon needs Php1.2T to reach higher economic growth - Salceda

The government needs to pour in Php1.2 trillion for a long-term investment to further improve the economic and social growth in the eight regions of Luzon, according to the Luzon Regional Development Committee (RDCom).

Albay Governor Joey Salceda, Bicol Regional Development Council chair and concurrent RDCom chair, on Tuesday said the amount will fund some 16 mega-infrastructure projects for the eight regions of the Luzon island from 2015 to 2045.

The RDCom has formulated the Luzon Spatial Development Framework (LSDF) plan, which would cover the Cordillera Autonomous Region, Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol and the National Capital Region.

Salceda, a known economist, said the LSDF needs more fine-tuning as he referred to the requested budgetary outlay as a “conservative” figure for a 30-year project timetable.

“On a economic scale, the funding should have been given flexibility or space for future adjustments,” he said.

He stressed that “If you spread this budget outlay within a 30-year span, Luzon will only get Php400 billion a year,” to carry out several major projects.

Citing budgetary figures, Salceda said MMDA alone is spending Php68 billion a year, adding that it needs Php1.3 trillion to decongest Metro Manila.

Salceda said once the proposal has been approved by the RDCom, this will be endorsed to the NEDA Board for adoption.

The LSDF has adopted strategies that would link communication, transportation (land, air, sea) and economic infrastructure system through a high-standard highway system from Ilocos Region down to Bicol.

The strategies adopted will involve three core projects -- namely, connectivity, concentration and vulnerability reduction.

The Php1.2-trillion funding is broken down into: connectivity projects, which will get the biggest slice with Php601.9 billion; followed by vulnerability projects, Php469.9 billion; and concentration projects, Php106.1 billion.

Connectivity projects intend to fully integrate settlements and economic production of regions by strengthening linkages of communication, transportation and economic infrastructure.

Vulnerability reductions efforts will be integrated with concentration and connectivity securing the safety of residents from the threats of disasters.

While concentration projects aims to increase overall densities of settlements in terms of population and economic activities.

The LSDF is also a link to the Japan International Cooperation Agency MEGA Manila “Dream Plan” on transportation and access development for seamless connectivity and complementation.

Projects lined up for implementation in Bicol are: the North-South Railway Project, which is aimed at reviving the Bicol Express railway system that connects 653 kilometers of south lines from Manila to Legazpi to Matnog with a total project cost of Php340 billion.

Salceda said the Manila-Legazpi project amounting to Php170 billion has been bid out by the Department of Transportation and Communications to interested contractors and expected to be fully operational by 2021.

The New Naga Airport Project, which involves the reorientation of the airfield, carries a Php3.5-billion funding requirement.

The GuiCaDaLe Strategic Platform Road Network in Albay will encourage and redirect economic activities in areas safe from the threats posed by Mayon Volcano eruptions, lahar flows, flooding and tsunamis.

It involves Guinobatan, Camalig and Daraga towns and the City of Legazpi.

The project is Php854 million, to be funded under the regular budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways in Bicol.

The construction of a 10.8-kilometer concrete bridge, dubbed as Catanduanes Friendship Bridge, aims to connect the island-province to mainland Bicol via Caramoan, Camarines Sur. The Naga-Legazpi Freeway System involves the improvement and construction of an 86-kilometer elevated four-lane highway from San Fernando, Camarines Sur, to Daraga, Albay, and carries a Php6.020-billion project cost.

The Bicol River Basin Development Program is a poverty- reduction program in local communities within the Bicol River Basin in Albay, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte.

It is a Php31.3-billion project that involves livelihood for increased crop production and commodity development, protection of forest cover, improve water quality of major rivers and lakes, rehabilitation of mangrove areas and reduction of damages and losses due to natural disasters and hazards. (PNA)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Cam Sur barangay has two village chiefs

PILI, Camarines Sur – Two persons both claiming to be the rightful Punong Barangay of Atulayan, Sagnay, Camarines Sur have caused serious confusion among constituents as a result of an election protest lodged at the Muncipal Trial Circuit Court (MTCC) of Tigaon-Sagnay, Camarines Sur.

Yesterday, before the Sangguniang Panlalawigan here, Jennifer C. Banday told the members of the Provincial Board that she wants to seek guidance from the said body and to help her resolve the issue.

Election protest, revision

Records obtained from Banday say that during the October 2014 barangay elections, she was declared and proclaimed winner by the Board of Canvassers.

However, her opponent in the said election, Erlinda A. Camano, filed an election protest with the MTCC, presided by Honorable Orlando A. Martizano.

Camano was declared the winner after the revision of votes.

Said decision of the MTCC was appealed to the 1st Division of Commission on Elections (COMELEC).

After COMELEC acquired jurisdiction over the said appeal, the poll body issued a Writ of Preliminary Injunction enjoining the MTCC Judge to cease and desist from implementing the Order dated 16 May 2014.

Furthermore, the Commision also directed Erlinda A. Camano to cease and desist from assuming the position of Punong Barangay until further orders.

In the same order, the poll body stated that pending the final resolution of the case, Jennifer C. Bandan must remain the Punong Barangay of Atulayan, and if the restrained acts had already been done, the parties are ordered to maintain the status quo ante prior to the filing of the case.

The same COMELEC order was duly served to the parties concerned by the Regional Office of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Bicol.


Banday told the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan that until now, Erlinda Camano still insists that she is the duly-elected Punong barangay.

“Our constituents are confused because Camano is also holding office and performing the functions of Punong Barangay. She issues clearances, certifications, and exercises the other functions that only legitimate the Punong  Barangay can perform. When I sign documents, like attendance in meeting called by the Liga ng Mga barangay, the two of us are recognized,” she related.

Banday said that she wanted to seek clarification from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, to give their residents peace of mind as to who should be the rightful head of their village.

Provincial Board Member Amador Simando, who represents the 4th District of Camarines in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, advised Banday to avail of the legal remedies, like the filing of necessary cases against Camano.

Simando told Banday to visit the Office of the Provincial Attorney if she intends to file legal action against Camano.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

Nawarang truck na cargado nin azucar, nakua sa Buhi

BUHI, Camarines Sur –Yaon na ngonian sa poder kan pulis sa banwaan na ini nawawarang truck na cargado nin sinakong azucar na hale sa Partido Ricemill sa banwaan kan Pili, Camarines Sur.

Nawarang truck na cargado nin azucar, nakua sa Buhi
Kua ni Melvin Machado
An mga imbestigador nagsabi na an truck, na Izuzu Wing Van na may plate number WNF 912 nakuang inabandonar sa Barangay Sta. Justina kan mga dae nabistong mga tawo.

Idinagdag kan pulis na an sinambit na vehiculo iyo si ipigbandillo kan pulis sa Milaor na nawawara.
Mientrastanto, kan marecibe ni Punong Barangay Consolacion Llagas y Tabumpama an informasyon dapit sa abandonadong truck, tulos pinaisi ninda an pulis.

Si PI Leonido B. Belleza, an deputy Chief of Police digdi tulos nagpasiring sa sinambit na barangay, para helingon an truck.

An vehiculo igwa nin chasis number CXM71V- 3001071 asin motor number 10PDI-751486, color puti asin pula, asin modelo kan 1999.

An rehistradong kagsadire kan vehiculo iyo si Caparros, Alfredo G. na taga Barangay Maunlad, Gumaca, Quezon.

Nagluluwas sa nagunong report kan mga awtoridad na an truck fuerzahan na hinabon nin mga
armadong tawo, na nagtutok nin armas sa nagmamaneho sa parte kan National Road sa pag oltanan kan Milaor- San Fernando-Pamplona, Camarines Sur.

An sinakong azucar na carga kan truck may total na kantidad na P1,025,000.

Dadarahon kuta an sinambit na cargamento sa Gumaca, Quezon.

Hasta sa presente an sinambit na truck yaon pa sa poder kan pulis sa banwaan na ini. – Report ni Melvin Machado/BICOLSTANDARD.COM

P1-M worth of jewelry lost to robbers

LEGAZPI CITY –Assorted pieces of jewelry with a total value of Php1,090,800 were looted from the Palawan Express Padala and Pawnshop at T- Alonzo Street, Barangay Orosite here Sunday morning.

Jewelry stock image via Pixabay
The suspects are two men, who were both armed with a handgun, and had their faces covered, one by a handkerchief, and another by a half face helmet.

One of said suspects pointed a gun at the security guard and ordered him to drop, then took his caliber 9mm firearm with Serial No. GD911130833. The other suspect held a gun to the cashier and the appraiser.

One of the suspects then broke the glass display rack containing various pieces of jewelry, the investigators disclosed.

Police Supt. Alex S. Pederio, Assistance Chief of Police here, said his office received a call from a concerned citizen that two armed men entered the pawnshop and carted away pieces of costly jewelry.

Among these were bracelets and necklaces with values ranging from as low as Php32,500 and as high as Php103,900.

A metal wrench that the suspect allegedly used to break the glass display rack was recovered by the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) of the Regional Crime Laboratory Office 5 at the place of the incident.

The Legazpi City Police Station is currently conducting a follow-up investigation for the recovery of the stolen items, and the arrest of the suspects, who remain unidentified as of the time of this writing.— BICOLSTANDARD.COM

BSP warns of fake money circulating in Bicol

An official of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has warned the public to be cautious in accepting counterfeit money currently circulating in at least three provinces in Bicol, Marlyn Paje, BSP deputy director and regional manager, said in an interview Monday.

Philippine currency
Philippine currency
Photo: BSP
She said that the BSP issued an advisory to all government and private commercial banks, rural banks and business establishments across the region to be watchful about the proliferation of counterfeit bills.

Paje said the BSP has received reports from the public and business establishments, including banks, on the proliferation of counterfeit peso bills in Sorsogon and the island-provinces of Masbate and Catanduanes.

Cynthia Ariola, BSP assistant manager for currency operation division, said the circulation of fake currency has reached an disturbing level, citing reports that last year, Php600,000 worth of fake money bills circulated in Bicol, which affected the local economy, specifically the business sector and the public.

Ariola said fake money ranging from Php500 to Php1,000 denomination are circulating in Bicol.

She said syndicates are circulating counterfeit money in the island-provinces of Catanduanes and Masbate including Sorsogon.

Paje said as a counter-measure against counterfeit money circulation, the BSP deemed it right to demonetize the 30-year-old banknotes to protect the country’s banknotes as the syndicate has perfected the counterfeiting or forgery of the paper notes and the circulation of the fake money has been rampant in many parts of the country.

She said the public will have only six months to use as legal tender the country’s 30-year-old banknotes as this would be demonetized by the BSP on January next year.

Paje said the demonetization process will take effect in January until December 31 next year. Old banknotes can no longer be used in day-to-day transactions but they can be exchanged at face value, free of charge at BSP authorized agent banks or at the BSP branches in Bicol.

Overseas Filipino workers with old bank notes will be given until December 2016 to exchange their paper money.Next year, only new generation currency banknotes will be used as legal tender. (PNA)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

CASE IN POINT by Dean Ed Vincent Albano | Fresh period rule

The Supreme Court, pursuant to its rule-making power has the authority to lay down rules. Sometimes such rules even depart from the literal provisions of the Rules of Court. In fact, it is continuing power conferred upon it by the Constitution. The purpose of such rules is speedy disposition of cases and to afford the parties all opportunities to have their cases decided on the merits and not through technicalities.

One such rule is Domingo Neypes, et al. v. Court of Appeals, et al., 469 SCRA 633 providing for a fresh 15-day period to appeal from the time a party is furnished with a copy of the resolution denying a Motion for Reconsideration. Before such rule, a party had only the balance of the period of appeal from the time he received a copy of the order denying the Motion for Reconsideration.

The question however, is whether the “fresh 15-day period is applicable in administrative cases.” In San Lorenzo Ruiz Builders & Dev. Corp., Inc., et al. v. Maria Cristina Banya, G.R. No. 194702, April 20, 2015, the basic issue was this:

Whether the “fresh period rule” in Neypes applies to administrative appeals, such as an appeal filed from a decision of the HLURB Board of Commissioners to the Office to the President. 

The Supreme Court said, No.

It is settled that the “fresh period rule” in Neypes applies only to judicial appeals and not to administrative appeals.

In Panolino v. Tajala, G.R. No. 183616, June 29, 2010, the Court was confronted with a similar issue of whether the “fresh period rule” applies to an appeal filed from the decision or order of the DENR regional office to the DENR Secretary, an appeal which is administrative in nature. We held in Panolino that the “fresh period rule” only covers judicial proceedings under the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure:

The “fresh period rule” in Neypes declares: 

To standardize the appeal periods provided in the Rules and to afford litigants fair opportunity to appeal their cases, the Court deems it practical to allow a fresh period of15 days within which to file the notice of appeal in the Regional Trial Court, counted from receipt of the order dismissing a motion for a new trial or motion for reconsideration.

Henceforth, this “fresh period rule” shall also apply to Rule 40 governing appeals from the Municipal Trial Courts to the Regional Trial Courts; Rule 42 on petitions for review from the Regional Trial Courts to the Court of Appeals; Rule 43 on appeals from quasi-judicial agencies to the Court of Appeals; and Rule 45 governing appeals by certiorari to the Supreme Court. The new rule aims to regiment or make the appeal period uniform, to be counted from receipt of the order denying the motion for new trial, motion for reconsideration (whether full or partial) or any final order or resolution.

x x x x

As reflected in the above-quoted portion of the decision in Neypes, the “fresh period rule” shall apply to Rule 40 (appeals from the Municipal Trial Courts to the Regional Trial Courts); Rule 41 (appeals from the Regional Trial Courts to the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court); Rule 42 (appeals from the Regional Trial Courts to the Court of Appeals); Rule 43 (appeals from quasi-judicial agencies to the Court of Appeals); and Rule 45 (appeals by certiorari to the Supreme Court). Obviously, these Rules cover judicial proceedings under the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. 

Petitioner’s present case is administrative in nature involving an appeal from the decision or order of the DENR regional office to the DENR Secretary. Such appeal is indeed governed by Section 1 of Administrative Order No. 87, Series of 1990. As earlier quoted, Section 1 clearly provides that if the motion for reconsideration is denied, the movant shall perfect his appeal “during the remainder of the period of appeal, reckoned from receipt of the resolution of denial;” whereas if the decision is reversed, the adverse party has a fresh 15-day period to perfect his appeal. 

In this case, the subject appeal, i.e., appeal from a decision of the HLURB Board of Commissioners to the OP, is not judicial but administrative in nature; thus, the “fresh period rule” in Neypes does not apply.

As aptly pointed out by the OP, the rules and regulations governing appeals from decisions of the HLURB Board of Commissioners to the OP are Section 2, Rule XXI of HLURB Resolution No. 765, series of 2004, in relation to Paragraph 2, Section 1 of Administrative Order No. 18, series of 1987:

Section 2, Rule XXI of the BLURB Resolution No. 765, series of 2004, prescribing the rules and regulations governing appeals from decisions of the Board of Commissioners to the Office of the President, pertinently reads:

Section 2. Appeal. - Any party may, upon notice to the Board and the other party, appeal a decision rendered by the Board of Commissioners to the Office of the President within fifteen (15) days from receipt thereof, in accordance with P.D. No. 1344 and A.O. No. 18 Series of 1987.

The pendency of the motion for reconsideration shall suspend the running of the period of appeal to the office of the President.

Corollary thereto, paragraph 2, Section 1 of Administrative Order No. 18, series of 1987, provides that in case the aggrieved party files a motion for reconsideration from an adverse decision of any agency/office, the said party has the only remaining balance of the prescriptive period within which to appeal, reckoned from receipt of notice of the decision denying his/her motion for reconsideration. 

Thus, in applying the above-mentioned rules to the present case, it was found that the CA correctly affirmed the OP in dismissing the petitioners’ appeal for having been filed out of time.

Dean Ed Vincent S. Albano is the Bar Review Director of Albano Bar Review Center. He authored books/reviewers in Civil Law, Political,  Law, Remedial Law and Legal Ethics.


House approves the expanded anti-sexual harassment bill

The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a measure amending the anti-sexual harassment law by expanding the forms or definitions of the criminal acts committed against women.

Co-authored by Camarines Sur 1st District Rep. Rolando G. Andaya, Jr. and Emmi A. De Jesus of GABRIELA, House Bill 5663 amends Republic Act 7877 or the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995.

Said the bill aims to strengthen the mechanisms that will monitor compliance with policies against sexual harassment in the workplace and in educational and training institutions.

Rep. Linabelle Ruth R. Villarica of the 4th District of Bulacan, chairperson of the House Committee on Women and Gender Equality said the measure expands the scope of RA 7877 by defining sexual harassment as an act, which may be committed physically, verbally, or visually with the use of information communication technology or any other means of technology within or outside the place of employment, training or education.

De Jesus said the acts to be included in the coverage of the law are unwanted, unwelcome or inappropriate sexual advances, demanding sexual favors by an employer, manager, supervisor, teacher, professor, coach, trainer or any person who have authority, influence or moral ascendancy over another's work, training or education, or making any offensive remark about the victim's sexual orientation.

The bill also covers those who have authority or influence in approving or granting appointments, reemployment or continued employment, granting favorable compensation, terms and conditions of employment, promotions or privileges, with respect to committing acts against employees and applicants for employment or promotion, or admission to an educational scholarships, payment of stipends, allowances or other benefits, privileges or considerations, with respect to committing acts against their students and applicants for admission or scholarship.

Andaya said it is the responsibility of the employer or head of the work-related, educational, or training environment or institution to prevent or deter the commission of acts of sexual harassment.

Any person who directs or induces another to commit any act of sexual harassment or who cooperates in the commission by another, without which it would not have been committed, shall also be held liable under the proposed act," Andaya said.

"A harasser is no longer confined to just being someone who has authority or moral ascendancy over the victim but anyone, including a colleague or subordinate staff, who makes gestures which are sexual in nature and create an intimidating, hostile or humiliating working, learning or training environment for the recipient of said unwelcome gestures," Andaya added.

Under the measure, the employer or head of office is mandated to adopt a comprehensive, detailed, and written policy on sexual harassment, outlining the detailed procedure for the investigation of sexual harassment cases and the administrative sanctions.

A Committee on Decorum and Investigation (CODI) shall be created in every offices or companies within one year of the agency's existence or initial operations exempting those that employ or have less than twenty people.

Violators are penalized by imprisonment of not more than six months, or a fine of not more than P200,000 or both at the discretion of the court.

The other co-authors of the bill are Reps. Luzviminda Ilagan (Party List, GABRIELA), Fernando Hicap (Party List, ANAKPAWIS), Carlos Isagani Zarate (Party List, BAYAN MUNA), Neri Colmenares (Party List, BAYAN MUNA), Terry Ridon (Party List, KABATAAN), Antonio Tinio (Party List, ACT TEACHERS), Gina De Venecia (4th District, Pangasinan), Emi Calixto-Rubiano (Lone District, Pasay City), Cinchona Cruz-Gonzales (Party List, CIBAC), Gus Tambunting (2nd District, Paranaque City), Sol Aragones (3rd District, Laguna), Regina Ongsiako Reyes (Lone District, Marinduque), Victoria Isabel Noel (Party List, AN WARAY), Jose Atienza (Party List, BUHAY), Monique Yazmin Lagdameo (1st District, Makati City), Erlinda Santiago (Party List, 1 SAGIP), Lorna Velasco (Party List, AMA), Kaka Bag-ao (Lone District, Dinagat Islands), Leni Gerona-Robredo (3rd District, Camarines Sur), Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman (Party List, AMIN), Delphine Gan Lee (Party List (AGRI), Estrellita Suansing (1st District, Nueva Ecija), Ibarra Gutierrez (Party List, AKBAYAN), Henedina Abad (Lone District, Batanes), Ma. Lourdes Acosta-Alba (1st District, Bukidnon), Josephine Veronique Lacson-Noel (Lone District, Malabon City), Sharon Garin (Party List, AAMBIS-OWA), Rose Marie Arenas (3rd District, Pangasinan), and Leah Paquiz (Party List, ANG NARS). 

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