AS THE court case of Madino Codasi proceeds, no sanctions have been meted to any Public Order and Safety Division (POSD) personnel.
Councilor Arthur Allad–iw confirmed no communication from the office of Mayor Benjamin Magalong was transmitted to his office nor the Baguio City Council since the commitment to investigate the unfortunate incident between Codasi and the POSD weeks ago was made.
Codasi filed a case at the City Prosecutors Office and the Commission on Human Rights, as well as the office of Magalong for violations of Republic Act (RA) 7277 as amended by RA 9442 or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, cyber libel and libel against the POSD.
Codasi is a PWD suffering from visual impairment, who alleges maltreatment by the POSD, a body created to advocate peace and order.
On December 14, Allad-iw’s call to summon the POSD with other city hall officials was granted, which aimed to look at the legality of the entire organization and how to aid in legislation.
“Well, as to the objectives to look for its bases of existence and rules of engagement, we have seen the gaps, that is the aim. The case is now in the courts, that is why we did not discuss that, but there has been no communication about the investigation (by the mayor’s office),” the alderman said.
Allad-iw set into record the tasks and designation of the POSD with the help of the City Human Resource Office, City Budget Office, as well as the City Legal Office in a bid to clarify its legal basis for operations and rules of engagement for action.
It was revealed that there were only seven plantilla positions (regular employees) under the POSD structure, which was opened in the 90s, mainly as security aid for the chief executive.
The positions are security officer IV and II, security agent I and II, security guard I and watchman 1, with salary ranging from P18,576 as the highest and P8,448 as the lowest.
There are 101 POSD job order positions for the remaining POSD personnel who do not have any benefits nor an employee-employer relationship with the City of Baguio.
The 101 POSD job orders are not covered by civil service rules and are not eligible to attend seminars, which can contribute to job enrichment and improvement.
The City Budget Office said there was an attempt to convert 50 POSD casual positions for the government but was abandoned.
The City Legal Office presented Ordinance No. 31 series of 1991, which is the basis for the creation of the POSD, as well as a proposed ordinance by former councilor Edgar Avila and a similar move by former vice mayor Edison Bilog to set into place the POSD guidelines on operation and conduct, but both were abandoned.
Allad-iw said the council meeting on Monday achieved to see the lapses of the POSD as an organization and has guided the august body on how to act.
“We have seen the gaps in the legal basis, as well as rules of engagement, as well as other problems,” Allad-iw added.
The POSD helps in the implementation of ordinances like the anti-peddling, smoking, obstruction, as well as other police-like functions they are asked to perform despite the lack of operating procedure and guidelines for conduct.
During the discourse on Monday, it was revealed the functions of POSD are still undefined and lapses in job description based on a contract of service are also unclear.
POSD head Marvin Herrera (Security officer IV) with Daryl Kim Longid (Security Officer II) faced the council and said today, POSD personnel need to attend college for at least two years to be able to qualify for job order positions. Internal rules have been made based on the Bilog-proposed ordinance in the past, which was augmented to sanction erring personnel with verbal and written warnings and expulsion from service when needed.
Herrera during the session appealed to the City Council to help generate more discipline by imposing heavier penalties on laws that can help them implement on the ground.
The entire issue has been referred to the committee on peace and order for further study and appropriate action by January 15, 2021.
December 16, 2020
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