CHAPTER 5: Employee Discipline

Discipline is that force which prompts an individual or group of individuals to observe rules and regulations  and procedures that are deemed necessary for the attainment of objectives. It is that force or control over the individuals or group which restrains them from doing things that are destructive to a given set of objectives.

POLICIES

  1. No DTI employee shall be removed or suspended except for cause as provided by law and after due process.
    1. Except when initiated, no complaint against any DTI employee/official shall be given due course unless the same is in writing and under oath by the complainant/s unless there is obvious truth or merit to the allegations set forth in the complaint.
    1. No anonymous complaint shall be entertained unless there is obvious truth or merit to the allegations therein or supported by documentary or direct evidence, in which case the person complained of may be required to comment.
    1. The complaint shall be written in clear, simple and concise language and in a systematic manner as to appraise the respondent of the nature of the charge against him and to enable him to prepare his defense. The complaint shall contain:
      1. full name and address of the complainant
      1. full name and address of the respondent as well as his position and bureau/office
      1. specification of charges, and
      1. brief statement of relevant and material facts, accompanied by certified true copies of the documentary evidence, if any, and sworn statements covering the testimony of his witnesses.
    1. However, the withdrawal of the complaint does not necessarily discharge the respondent from any administrative liability. Where there is obvious truth or merit to the charges or complaint, the same should be given due course.
    1. In meting out punishment, like penalties shall be imposed for like offenses and only one penalty shall be imposed in each case. “Each case” means one administrative case which may involve one or more charges or counts.
    1. The disciplining authority may impose the penalty of removal/dismissal from the service, forced resignation with or without prejudice to benefits, demotion in rank, suspension for not more than one year without pay, fine in an amount not exceeding six months’ salary, transfer  or reprimand.

RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. The Secretary of Trade and Industry or his authorized representative has jurisdiction to investigate and decide matters involving disciplinary action against DTI officers/employees. Their decisions shall be final in case the  penalty  imposed  is  suspension  for  not  more  than thirty (30) days or fine in an amount not exceeding  thirty (30) days (CSC MC 19, s. 1999).
  2. The Civil Service Commission shall hear and decide administrative cases instituted by, or brought before it, directly or on appeal, and shall review decisions and actions including the imposition of penalties exceeding thirty (30) days suspension or fine in an amount  exceeding thirty days salary brought before it on appeal.

GROUNDS FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTION

The following have been declared as grounds for disciplinary action (Chap. 7, Sec. 46, Book V of EO 292):

  1. Dishonesty;
    1. Oppression;
    1. Neglect of Duty;
    1. Misconduct;
    1. Disgraceful and immoral conduct;
    1. Being notoriously undesirable;
    1. Discourtesy in the course of official duties;
    1. Inefficiency and incompetence in the performance of official duties;
    1. Receiving for personal use of a fee, gift or other valuable thing in the course of official duties or in connection therewith when such fee, gift, or other valuable thing is given by any person in the hope or expectation of receiving a favor or better treatment than that accorded to other persons, or committing acts punishable under the anti-graft laws;
    1. Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude;
    1. Improper or unauthorized solicitation  of contributions from subordinate employees and by teachers or school officials from school children;
    1. Violation of existing Civil Service Law and rules of reasonable office regulations;
    1. Falsification of official document;
    1. Frequent unauthorized absences or tardiness in reporting for duty, loafing or frequent unauthorized absences from duty during regular office hours;
    1. Habitual drunkenness;
    1. Gambling prohibited by law;
    1. Refusal to perform official duty or render overtime service;
    1. Disgraceful, immoral or dishonest conduct prior to entering the service;
    1. Physical or mental incapacity or disability due to immoral or vicious habits;
    1. Borrowing money by superior officers from subordinates or lending by subordinates to superior officers.
    1. Lending money at usurious rates of interest;
    1. Willful failure to pay just debts or willful failure to pay taxes due the government;
    1. Contracting loans of money or other property from persons with whom the office of the employee concerned has business relations;
    1. Pursuit of private business, vocation or profession without the permission required by the Civil Service rules and regulations;
    1. Insubordination;
    1. Engaging directly or indirectly in partisan political activities by one holding a non-political office;
    1. Conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service;
    1. Lobbying for personal interest or gain in legislative halls or offices without authority;
    1. Promoting the sale of tickets in behalf of private enterprises that are not intended for charitable or public welfare purposes and even in the latter cases if there is no prior authority;
    1. Nepotism.

NEPOTISM

General Guidelines

  1. Employees and their immediate family members (3rd degree of consanguinity or affinity) will be excluded from consideration for employment by the DTI.
  2. Employees shall not hold a position with the Department while they or members of their immediate family (3rd degree of consanguinity or affinity) serve on any executive and management level positions.
  3. Employees may not hold a job over which a member of their immediate family exercises supervisory authority.
  4. DTI employees may not hire, supervise, or exercise management authority over, directly, or indirectly, staff with whom they have a relationship that may adversely affect impartiality. Similarly, the staff of DTI may not influence the award of contracts to vendors with whom they have a familial or personal relationship. All questions concerning the hiring  of any individual who may be related to another DTI employee should be referred to the human resources office.

Employment of Relatives

  1. Spouses. DTI reserves the right to: a) refuse to place one spouse under the direct supervision of the other spouse where such has the potential for creating an adverse effect on supervision, safety, security, or morale; and b) refuse to place both spouses in the same department, division, program, or facility where such has the potential for creating an adverse effect on supervision, safety, security, morale, or involves potential conflicts of interest.
  • Other Relatives. Relatives of any organization employee, board member, or any person exercising hiring, promotion, and termination authority may not be hired into organization service without approval of the chief executive (or, in the case of a relative of the chief executive the executive committee of the board).

Relatives by blood or marriage of any organization employee, regardless of status, will not be hired in the same department, division, program, or facility where such has the potential for creating an adverse effect on supervision, safety, security, morale, or involves potential conflicts of interest without the written prior approval of the chief executive (or, in the case of a relative of the chief executive, the executive committee of the board).

  • Marriage/Cohabitation of Employees. If two employees marry or become related or cohabit and a conflict arises, only one of the employees will be permitted to stay with DTI unless a reporting relationship for each spouse can be designed to ensure that no conflict or appearance of impropriety exists. The decision as to which relative will remain with DTI must be made by the two employees within three calendar days or by the Bureau Director/Head of Office on the basis of service value.

ADMINISTRATIVE CASES

Civil Service Commission Memorandum Circular No. 19, s. 1999, as amended on the Revised Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service.

Procedures

Upon receipt of the sworn statement of complaint against a DTI official/employee, the Internal Affairs Fact Finding Committee (IAFFC) composed of the following shall study/investigate the complaint:

ChairpersonDivision Chief from HRMD
Vice ChairpersonOLA Lawyer
Permanent MemberDTI EU Officer
    Provisional MembersDivision Chief from the same functional group where the party complained of belongs
Division Chief from a different functional group

In the absence of a prima facie case, the complaint shall be dismissed.

After finding of a prima facie case, the IAFFC shall elevate to the Internal Affairs Formal Investigation Committee (IAFIC) composed of the following, which shall formally charge the person complained of which shall contain the specifics of charge/s.

ChairpersonDirector of OLA
Vice ChairpersonDirector of GAS
    MembersDirector of FMS
Director of a functional group different from that of the respondent
DTI EU Officer

Direct the respondent to answer the charge/s in writing under oath in not less than seventy-two (72) hours from receipt thereof. Advice the respondent to indicate in his answer whether or not he elects a formal investigation of the charge/s and a notice that he is entitled to be assisted by a counsel of his choice.

If the respondent fails or refuses to file his answer to the formal charge within five (5) days from receipt thereof, he shall be considered to have waived his right thereto and formal investigation may commence.

  1. Preventive Suspension. Upon petition of the complainant or motuproprio, the Secretary of Trade and Industry or his authorized  representative  may issue an order of preventive suspension upon service of the Formal Charge, or immediately thereafter to any officer or employee under his authority pending an investigation, if the charge involves:
  2. dishonesty;
  3. oppression;
  4. grave misconduct;
  5. neglect in the performance of duty; or
  6. if there are reasons to believe that the respondent is guilty of charges which would warrant his removal from the service.

An order of preventive suspension may be issued to temporarily remove the respondent from the scene of his misfeasance or malfeasance and to preclude the possibility of exerting undue influence or pressure on the witnesses against him or tampering of documentary evidence on file with his Office.

In lieu of preventive suspension, for the same purpose, the proper disciplining authority or head of office may reassign respondent to other unit of the agency during the formal hearings.

When the administrative case against an officer or employee under preventive suspension is not finally decided within the period of ninety (90) days after the date of his preventive suspension, he shall be automatically reinstated in the service, provided that, when the delay in the disposition of the case is due to the fault, negligence or petition of the respondent, the period of delay should not be included in the counting of the 90 calendar days period of preventive suspension. Provided further that should the respondent be on Maternity/Paternity leave, said preventive suspension shall be deferred or interrupted until such time that said leave has been fully enjoyed.

The respondent may file a motion for reconsideration with the Secretary of Trade and Industry or his authorized representative or may elevate the same to the Civil Service Commission by way of an appeal within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the Order of Preventive Suspension.

  • Conduct of Formal Investigation. In the conduct of formal investigation, although the respondent does not request a formal investigation, shall nevertheless be conducted by the disciplining authority (shall mean the Secretary of Trade and Industry or his duly authorized representative) where from the allegations of the complaint and the answer of the respondent, including the supporting documents of both parties, the merits of the case cannot be decided judiciously without conducting such investigation.

The investigation shall be held not earlier than five (5) days nor later than ten (10) days from receipt of the respondent’s answer. Said investigation shall be finished within thirty (30) days from the issuance of the formal charge or the receipt of the answer unless the period is extended by the disciplining authority in meritorious cases.

  • Pre-hearing Conference. At the commencement of the formal investigation, the Formal Investigation Committee may conduct a pre-hearing conference for the parties to appear, consider and agree on any of the following:
    • Stipulation of facts;
    • Simplification of issues;
    • Identification and marking of evidence of the parties;
    • Waiver or objections to admissibility of evidence;
    • Limiting the number of witnesses, and their names;
    • Dates of subsequent hearings; and
    • Such other matters as may aid in the prompt and just resolution of the case.

The parties may submit position paper/memoranda and submit the case for resolution based on the result of the pre-hearing conference without any need for further hearings.

  • Formal Investigation Report. Within fifteen (15) days after the conclusion of the formal investigation, a report containing a narration of the material facts established during the investigation, the findings and the evidence supporting said findings, as well as the recommendations, shall be submitted by the Formal Investigation Committee with the disciplining authority. The complete records of the case shall be attached to the Report of Investigation.

      The complete records shall be systematically and chronologically arranged, paged and securely bound to prevent loss. A table of contents shall be prepared. Whoever is in-charge of the transmittal of the complete records shall be held responsible for any loss or suppression of pages thereof.

      The Secretary of Trade and Industry or his duly authorized representative shall render his decision on the case within thirty (30) days from receipt of the Report of Investigation.

  • Finality of Decision. A decision rendered by the Secretary of Trade and Industry or his duly authorized representative whereby a penalty of suspension for not more than thirty (30) days or a fine in an amount not exceeding thirty (30) days’ salary is imposed, shall be final and executory. However, if the penalty imposed is suspension exceeding thirty (30) days, or a fine in an amount exceeding thirty (30) days salary, the same shall be final and executory after the lapse of the reglementary period for filing a motion for reconsideration or an appeal and no such pleading has been filed.
  • Motion for Reconsideration. The party adversely affected by the decision may file a motion for reconsideration with the Secretary of Trade and Industry or his authorized representative who rendered the same within fifteen (15) days from receipt thereof. A motion for reconsideration sent by mail shall be deemed filed on the date shown by the postmark on the envelope which shall be attached to the records of the case and in case of personal delivery, the date stamped thereon by the Office.

The motion for reconsideration shall be based on any of the following:

  1. New evidence has been discovered which materially affects the decision rendered or
    1. The decision is not supported by the evidence on record,
    1. Errors of law or irregularities have been committed prejudicial to the interest of the movant.

Only one (1) motion for reconsideration shall be entertained.

  • Filing of Appeals. Decisions of the Secretary of Trade and Industry or his duly authorized representative imposing a penalty exceeding thirty (30) days suspension or fine in an amount exceeding thirty (30) days salary may be appealed to the Civil Service Commission within a period of fifteen (15) days from receipt thereof.

      An appeal sent by mail shall be deemed filed on the date shown by the postmark on the envelope which shall be attached to the records of the case and in case of personal delivery, the date stamped thereon by the proper office.

      The appellant shall pay an appeal fee of Three Hundred Pesos (P300.00) and a copy of the receipt thereof shall be attached to the appeal.

      To perfect an appeal, the appellant shall, within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the decision, submit the following:

  1. Notice of appeal which shall specifically state the date of the decision appealed from and the date of receipt thereof;
    1. Three (3) copies of appeal memorandum containing the certified true copy of the decision, resolution or order appealed from, and certified copies of the documents or evidence;
    1. Proof of service of a copy of the appeal memorandum to the disciplining office.
    1. Proof of payment of the appeal fee; and
    1. Statement or certificate of non-forum shopping.

Failure to comply with any of the above requirements within the reglementary period shall be construed as failure to perfect an appeal and shall cause its dismissal.

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