The 12th Regional Trial Court has upheld the Civil Service Commission in its earlier ruling on 828 teachers’ temporary appointments in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
Minister Mohaguer Iqbal of the BARMM’s Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) said the court’s decision released Monday upheld the region’s cease-and-desist order on teachers, stuck in decades of temporary appointments in the region’s five component provinces.
Iqbal issued the cease-and-desist order through MBHTE Memorandum Orders No. 154 and No. 194-B on May 31, 2020 for a “decisive bold step” towards ending decades of controversies and issues surrounding the sad state of provisional teachers in the region.
The 12th RTC Branch 13 here ruled that “there is no infringement of the constitutional rights of the (teacher-) petitioners” opposing MBHTE’s cease-and-desist-order in a “petition for prohibition and mandamus.” The court also emphasized that: “appointments to government service are and have always been based on merit and fitness.”
Earlier, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) also upheld the Bangsamoro Attorney General’s Office in its legal opinion that the cease-and-desist orders were consistent with Rule IV of the 2017 Omnibus Rules on Appointments and Other Human Resource Action (Revised in 2018).
Under this rule, provisional or temporary appointments have a fixed validity period of one year. However, MBHTE found out that most provisional teachers were issued appointments that allowed them to stay in position for decades, since the tenure of the defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Iqbal said his ministry has considered some long-term solutions to the region’s sad state of teachers holding temporary appointments.
He said one such long-term solution would be a continuing free review program for old and new mentors called “para-teachers” who are hired under renewable contract of services, until they obtain the required eligibility by passing Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET).
Also, in a video message posted Monday night on MBHTE’s official Facebook page, Minister Iqbal said that as of March 1, the court has dismissed the petition for prohibition and mandamus filed by some of the provisional teachers against the education ministry.