By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Eastern Samar Representative Ben Evardone strongly urged Monday the Executive and the Legislative to step in and look into the supposed “massive illegal, immoral and inhuman” transfers of employees to and from various departments in the provincial government of Eastern Samar.
He bewailed the alleged issuance, without prior notice, of several orders by Acting Eastern Samar Gov. Marcelo Ferdinand Picardal directing the transfer of around 150 regular employees of the province to offices and departments under provincial government control and supervision.
“This is first time in the history of Eastern Samar that a massive illegal, immoral, anti-people and anti-family movement of Capitol employees has happened. There is no other reason for this harassment and intimidation but politics,” Evardone said.
He said one of the victims is a lowly employee who just gave birth who was assigned to a hospital 11 towns away from her place.
“Also, among the others who were reassigned were a laundry worker in a hospital who moved to a far-flung hospital and a lowly employee to a hospital which is closed. Clearly, this move if really inhuman,” he said.
He noted that at least 35 employees have already been transferred to far-flung areas to the detriment of their meager income and their families.
“The CSC should reverse these moves,” he added.
Evardone said the Department of Interior and Local Goverment (DILG) and the Office of the President should look into this “inhuman” act of Picardal.
“The timing of the transfers was highly dubious because they were done just few days before the election ban,” he pointed out.
Evardone filed House Resolution 2405 urging the House Committee on Civil Service and Professional Regulation to investigate Picardal’s supposed issuance and hurried implementation of “detail orders” apparently to beat the deadline or election ban on transfers of employment in the civil service which started last Jan. 13.
He stood firm that the reported massive transfer of employees is in clear violation of civil service laws, rules and regulations and other laws such as the Magna Carta for Public Health Workers or Republic Act 7305.
“The whimsical and capricious act of the Acting Governor of Eastern Samar, made in the pretext of public service, causes affected provincial government employees’ difficulty in travelling to and from their new place of work, especially those elderly employees who are already senior citizens, as well as women-mother employees who are still breastfeeding their newborn, ” he said.
Evardone said the affected employees claim that their sudden transfer would cause them and their respective families added unexpected and unnecessary financial expense, thus bringing them psychological and emotional stress.
“It is incumbent upon the House of Representatives, as protector of the people, to investigate each and every policy or activity that is anti-people, oppressive and apparently illegal activities, including those acts that create geographical and financial dislocations, emotional stress and division from families, especially those implemented in the guise of public service, but are actually pure harassment and intimidation upon simple and honest government employees, ” Evardone said.