Town officials squabble over fired staff


ITOGON, Benguet – Officials of this town are in loggerheads because of an alleged indiscriminate termination of a staff.

Mayor Oscar Camantiles, through an executive order issued July 2, terminated Benigno Apidos as manager of the Municipal Economic Enterprise Development Office (Meedmo).This annoyed the legislative body of the town. Vice Mayor Noel Ngolob said there was no due process conducted on the termination of Apidos.Image

Ngolob questioned the designation of the new officer–in–charge of Meedmo. He said the new manager who replaced Apidos is a co–terminus employee who never held a permanent position prior to his designation as the new manager.

He said the new Meedmo manager was designated by Camantiles based on his trust and confidence.

These issues, as stated, complicate the matter, the vice mayor said.

Ngolob said they will further investigate the matter and will soon discuss the problem with the council, adding that he will talk to Camantiles to get an explanation on the issue.

Committee chairman on personnel, good government, public ethics and accountability Councilor Gerard Cornel stated two points to consider on the issue. First, he said Ordinance 25, series of 2008, provides qualifications for a managerial position. Second, there should be a due process in hiring and terminating of personnel to explain its nature.

He said they will delineate the issues surrounding the problem then act on it so it will not be a precedent in town for anybody to terminate someone without due process.

Apidos, meanwhile, said he only learned about his termination during their meeting last week of July. He said he was shocked to learn about it during the meeting because it was not listed in the agenda.

He said no due process was given for his termination.

He said though that the rental of a municipal loader of a contractor of Sangilo Mines from him when he was still manager of Meedmo may have been the cause of his termination.

He said he had the loader lent to the contractor who only paid an initial rental. He said he was aware of the policies of Meedmo wherein the borrower should pay full amount before loaning any municipal equipment.

Sun Star Baguio saw Camantiles’s executive order, which he used to “designate” Apidos as then manager of Meedmo on September 2010.

Camantiles explained the characteristic of the terms differ. He said the position was just an emergency post.

“I don’t know why are they (council) making this as an issue when in fact, it is for the benefit of Apidos because I promoted him,” he said.

He said he promoted Apidos through the termination, adding that with it, Apridos will return to the mother unit of Meedmo which is the Municipal Engineering Office.

He said terminating anybody is his power as the local chief executive of the town.

He also said he is willing to return Apidos as Meedmo manager if he wishes to. But Apidos said he is more comfortable to his new position as construction and maintenance general foreman.

The mayor assured he will clear the matter with the council. (Rubyloida Bitog)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 06, 2012.

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