Transfer of public health workers

What is the legal effect of filing of an appeal by a public health worker (PHWs) against an order for his geographical re-assignment or transfer? Is he liable for insubordination if he refuses to comply first to the said order? What are the applicable rules? The law expressly provides the procedure for a valid transfer or re-assignment of a public health worker, to wit: 
  • The public health worker must be informed first of the reasons for his transfer or re-assignment,
  • The transfer must be in the interest of public service,
  • The transfer or re-assignment is subject to an appeal before the Civil Service Commission (CSC), especially, if the public health worker believes that his transfer or re-assignment has no justification and
  • The Civil Service Commission shall cause the holding in abeyance the transfer or re-assignment in case of an appeal .
This is clear in section 6 of R.A 7305 otherwise known as the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers, which provides that:
“a public health worker shall not be transferred and/or re-assigned, except when made in the interest of public services, in which case, the employee concerned shall be informed of the reasons therefore in writing. If the public health worker believes that there is no justification for the transfer and/or re-assignment, he/she may appeal his/her case to the Civil Service Commission, which shall cause his/her transfer and/or re-assignment to be held in abeyance”.
In a recent Resolution of the Civil Service Commission, the holding in abeyance of transfer or re-assignment was made automatic once an appeal is filed before the CSC-Commission Proper. This is provided in CSC Memorandum Circular no. 9 s. 2010 pursuant to CSC Resolution no. 100667 dated April 6, 2010, more specifically under Section 3 of CSC memorandum, stating as follows:.
“Section 3. Effect of Filing on an Appeal on the Re-assignment-The filing of an appeal on the re-assignment by the concerned public health worker or public social worker shall automatically hold in abeyance the implementation of the order of re-assignment.
For this purpose, appellant shall furnish a notice of appeal to the appointing authority or official who ordered the re-assignment copy furnished CSCROs or CSCFOs concerned. The notice of appeal shall serve as notice to the concerned appointing authority or official to hold in abeyance the implementation of the order of re-assignment.”

Under the same CSC Memorandum Circular, the CSC Regional Offices are directed to monitor the compliance with Section 3 of the CSC memorandum. The same legal rights are also granted to public social workers, who are covered by R.A no. 9433, also known as the Magna Carta for Public Social Workers.

The CSC Memorandum took effect last May 20, 2010 or fifteen (15) days after its publication on May 5, 2010. This CSC issuance in effect ensures the strict observance of legal requirements for geographical transfer or relocation of health workers before being actually re-assigned.


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