CASE BRIEF 2018-0321

CASE: RE: Dropping from the rolls of Mr. Arno Del Rosario, Court Stenographer II of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City [A.M. No. 17-12-135-MeTC, April 16, 2018]

PONENTE: Perlas-Bernabe, J.:

SUBJECT:
a) Administrative Law:  Dropping from the Rolls; Effect

FACTS:
The records of the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) show that Mr. Arno Del Rosario, Court Stenographer II of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 41, has not submitted either his daily time record from February 3, 2017 to the present or any application for leave covering such period, thus making him absent without approved leave since said date.

Thus, Presiding Judge Analie B. Oga-Brual requested to drop Del Rosario from the rolls or declare his position vacant considering his absences without official leave.

ISSUE: Whether or not Del Rosario should be dropped from the rolls due to his absences without official leave.

RULING:
Section 107, Rule 20 of the 2017 Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service (2017 RACCS)authorizes and provides the procedure for the dropping from the rolls of employees who, inter alia, are absent without approved leave for an extended period of time. Pertinent portions of this provision read:

“Section 107. Grounds and Procedure for Dropping from the Rolls. Officers and employees who are absent without approved leave, x x x may be dropped from the rolls within thirty (30) days from the time a ground therefor arises subject to the following procedures:
a. Absence Without Approved Leave
1. An official or employee who is continuously absent without official leave (AWOL) for at least thirty (30) working days may be dropped from the rolls without prior notice which shall take effect immediately.

He/she shall, however, have the right to appeal his/her separation within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the notice of separation which must be sent to his/her last known address. x x x x”

It is undisputed that Del Rosario had been absent without official leave since February 3, 2017. Verily, his prolonged unauthorized absences caused inefficiency in the public service as it disrupted the normal functions of the court. It contravened the duty of a public servant to serve with the utmost degree of responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency.

By failing to report for work since February 3, 2017 up to the present, Del Rosario grossly disregarded and neglected the duties of his office. Undeniably, he failed to adhere to the high standards of public accountability imposed on all those in the government service.

However, the Court deems it worthy to stress that the instant case is non-disciplinary in nature. Thus, Del Rosario’s separation from the service shall neither result in the forfeiture of any benefits which have accrued in his favor, nor in his disqualification from re-employment in the government service. (See Section 110 of the 2017 RACCS)

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THINGS DECIDED:

A)      An official or employee who is continuously absent without official leave (AWOL) for at least thirty (30) working days may be dropped from the rolls without prior notice which shall take effect immediately.

B)       Dropping from the rolls as a mode of separation from the service for unauthorized absences is non-disciplinary in nature and shall not result in the forfeiture of any benefit on the part of the official or employee or in disqualification from reemployment in the government.

 ‘Stand by things decided’ ~ Stare Decisis


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