This pertains to your query seeking opinion from the Commission regarding your predicament on you appointment. You wished to be enlightened on why you are not appointed/selected to your desired position despite having superior qualifications among other applicants. Further, you also want to be clarified regarding the three (3) salary grade limitation rule.
As a matter of policy, this Office refrains from rendering categorical opinions on matters and issues that may later on be the subject of an administrative proceeding before the Commission either via an appeal or a complaint. This is to preclude the possibility of prejudgment should an actual administrative case be commenced or instituted based on the said matters or issues.
To begin with, the power to appoint is purely discretionary on the part of the appointing authority. The appointing authority is given the most favourable position to determine who can best fulfil the functions of the office. Nevertheless, while the appointing authority enjoys a wide latitude of discretion in the selection of personnel for his/her agency, such discretion must be exercised within the confines of Civil Service law, rules and regulation. In so saying, the appointing authority must be cautious in exercising such power and must assure that the appointee possesses the necessary qualifications required at the time of the issuance of the appointment.
As regard the issue regarding the Three (3) Salary Grade Limitation Rule, the same serves as a red flag or a signal to make a thorough and deeper evaluation relative to the manner and merit of the issuance of the appointment vis-à-vis the reasons or justifications advance by the appointing authority. If the issuance of the appointment falls under any of the meritorious cases or is based on meritorious consideration, then, the appointment should be approved.
In CSC Memorandum Circular No. 18, s. 2016 (Policy Guidelines on the Three-Salary Grade Limitation on Promotion), the Commission made a clarification as to what constitute meritorious consideration, to wit:
"1. For consistency and uniformity, as a general rule, all appointments issued in violation of the Policy on the Three-Salary Grade Limitation on Promotion shall be disapproved/invalidated, except when the promotional appointment falls within the purview of any of the following exceptions:
"a. The position occupied by the person is next-in-rank to the vacant position as identified in the Merit Selection Plan and the System of Ranking Positions (SRP) of the agency.
"b. The vacant position is a lone or entrance position, as indicated in the agency staffing pattern.
"c. The vacant position is hard to fill, such as Accountant, Medical Officer/Specialist, Attorney, or Information Technology Officer/Computer Programmer positions.
"d. The vacant position is unique and/or highly specialized, such as Actuarial, Airways Communications positions.
"e. The candidates passed through a deep selection process, taking into consideration the candidates’ superior qualifications in regard to:
• Educational achievements
• Highly specialized trainings
• Relevant work experience
• Consistent high performance rating/ranking
"f. The vacant position belongs to the closed career system, i.e., those that are scientific, or highly technical in nature that include the faculty and academic staff of state colleges and universities, and the scientific and technical positions in scientific or research institutions, all of which establish and maintain their own merit systems.
"g. Other meritorious cases, such as:
• when the appointee is the lone applicant who meets all the requirement of the position and passed through the deep selection process
• when the qualified next-in-rank employees waived their right over the vacant position in writing
• when the next-in-rank position, as identified in the agency SRP is vacant
• when the next-in-rank employee/s is/are not qualified
• when the qualified next-in-rank employees did not apply”
It is hoped that we have enlightened you on the matter.