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What happens to Ubial after CA rejection?

MANILA, Philippines – When the Commission on Appointments rejected Judy Taguiwalo and Rafael Mariano as Cabinet officials, the two nominees identified with the Left went back to their private lives. 

Former social welfare secretary Taguiwalo is a retired professor of the University of the Philippines while former agrarian reform secretary Mariano used to be the chairperson of the peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas. 

But it will be a different story for the recently rejected Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Paulyn Ubial who was a long-time permanent employee of the agency prior to her appointment. 

Based on the Career Executive Service Board’s master list of Career Executive Service Officials (CESOs) as of June 2017, the outgoing DOH chief has a status of CESO II. 

A CESO belongs to the “3rd level or the managerial class in the group of career positions in the Philippine civil service.”

Members of this service class are those qualified to take positions such as undersecretary, assistant secretary, bureau director, regional director, department chief, and an executive position as appointed by the President. 

“The CES operates on the ‘rank concept’. Career Executive Service Officers (CESOs) are ‘appointed’ to ranks and ‘assigned’ to CES positions. As such, they can be re-assigned or transferred from one CES position to another and from one office to another but not oftener than once every two years,” according to the CESB website. 

Ubial served in the following CESO capacities in her 29 years in the DOH: 

With the CA rejection, the career official is now out of government service.

“She lost her stint in government when her appointment was rejected. She will need an appointment for a different position to go back to the service,” explained Civil Service Commission Assistant Commissioner Ariel Ronquillo. 

CESO pool 

According to Ronquillo, Ubial is not eligible to be reassigned to the CESO pool since only incumbent CESOs can be placed there. 

“[Given Ubial’s CESO II], she is qualified for an Undersecretary position. But she is not an incumbent if she is not appointed,” he added. 

This pool is where officials on “floating status” are placed. Career executives enter the pool when they get into trouble or lose the confidence of their superiors. Some also enter it voluntarily when taking a sabbatical leave.

A CESO reassigned here involuntarily may stay for a maximum of 6 months until he/she is matched with another office or another position in his/her mother agency. 

Officials continue to receive their salary and benefits from their agencies for the first 3 months of stay in the pool. After such period, they are paid through the pool fund.

For now, Ubial is awaiting instructions from Malacañang. But she is thinking of spending her time out of government to become a rural doctor. – Rappler.com 

Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.

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