Capitol official back in post after 3 years of legal battle

MARIVIC Garces was finally reinstated as head of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) last March 21, after almost three years of legal battle at the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

That she was back to her post was not noticed until she went up the stage last March 31, together with other department heads, to assist Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale and Gov. Hilario Davide III in giving plaques of appreciation to guests, one of whom was former Department of Justice secretary Leila Delima.

It was the culmination ceremony of Women’s Month.

Garces begged off from an interview. She said that as a Capitol officer, she will follow orders from higher Capitol officials.

The PSWDO did not have a permanent head during Davide’s first year, in 2013, when his administration was battered by numerous disasters and calamities, starting from the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in October and the Super Typhoon Yolanda in November.

More typhoons that took lives and drove residents to evacuation centers, arrived the following, keeping the department busy.

There were also disasters at sea, including the sinking of a boat in Ormoc City, that killed most residents of Camotes Island.

Now, Cebu is experiencing a dry spell.

Garces was out of the department in those years. Provincial Administrator Mark Tolentino chaired the PSWDO in a concurrent capacity. Then its recent acting head Rose Soza was hospitalized.

Garces exerted all legal remedies to get back her post.

When then governor Gwen Garcia was suspended in December 2012, then acting governor Agnes Magpale announced in January 2013 the replacement of Garces.

Garces was then transferred to the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) for a few months. She was reinstated when Garcia returned to office in June.

Reinstate

That same month, the Civil Service Commission (CSC), through Commissioner Robert Martinez, ordered Capitol to reinstate Garces as PSWDO head.

On July 3, 2013, Davide appointed Evelyn Senajon to head the department, and Garces was assigned to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.

Her transfer did not last for a month, as Davide transferred her to Danao District Hospital. Despite being transferred repeatedly, Garces retained her position as PSWDO officer.

Provincial attorney Orvi Ortega petitioned CSC to overturn its order reinstating Garces. He asked the commission in September 19 to reconsider its decision since there was no reduction on Garces’ rank, status and salary.

In February 2015, Davide said he cannot reinstate Garces pending the final ruling on her case.

Garces wrote to Davide, citing the CSC resolution. But Davide said he cannot implement the CSC order pending the resolution of their motion for reconsideration (MR).

The CSC eventually denied Capitol’s MR.

Then last March 18, during the interment of her late father, Garces received Capitol’s reinstatement notice.

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