The Supreme Court recently declared that public schools supervisors do not have administrative supervision over school heads and denied their petition to compel the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to upgrade their salary grade (SG) from SG 19 to SG 24.
In a 32-page decision penned by Justice Romeo J. Callejo, Sr., the Court upheld the validity of Section 4.3 of Rule IV and Sections 5.1 and 5.2 of Rule V of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA 9155 or the “Governance of Basic Education Act 2001” providing for the powers of schools division superintendents and public schools supervisors and the establishment of new school districts, respectively. It held that the assailed provisions were a mere reiteration and implementation of RA 9155. The SC denied the public schools supervisors’ petition for salary grade upgrade as there is no showing that prior to filing the petition, petitioners sought an adjustment of their salary grade to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) as provided in RA 6758 (Salary Standardization Law). Likewise, the Court found the petition premature and moot and academic in view of Joint Circular No. 1, Series of 2003 by the DepEd and DBM providing for the staggered salary upgrade of public schools district supervisors.
“We have reviewed the IRR and find that Section 4.3 of Rule IV, and Sections 5.1 and 5.2 of Rule V are valid. The provisions merely reiterate and implement the related provisions of R.A. No. 9155. x x x Thus, under R.A. No. 9155, administrative supervision over school heads is not one of those responsibilities conferred on district supervisors,” the Court said. It added that while the district supervisor is given a support staff for program promotion, it cannot be implied that the district supervisor likewise has administrative supervision over elementary school principals and secondary school principals.
The Court noted that Congress would not have made specific enumerations in a statute if it had the intention not to restrict or limit its meaning and confine its terms only to those expressly enumerated.
“The Court likewise declares that the last paragraph of Section 4.3 of the IRR, stating that the regional director shall continue exercising disciplinary authority over the teaching personnel insofar as the latter are covered by specific and exclusive disciplinary provisions under R.A. No. 4670 (“Magna Carta for Public School Teachers”), does not contravene R.A. No. 9155,” said the Court.
Regarding the reporting of acceptance of donations by school heads, the Court ruled that under the law, donations and grants must be reported to the appropriate district supervisors and not only to the division superintendents. “The reason for the provision is that such grants and donations...will assist the school district supervisors in the performance of their duties and responsibilities under Section 7(D) of R.A. No. 9155, and submit appropriate recommendations to the proper administrative officers,” added the Court.
The Court likewise denied the upgrading of petitioners’ salary grade level from SG 19 to 24 as it was premature because the petitioners did not seek an adjustment of their salary grade level from SG 19 to SG 21 before the DepEd, DBM, or the CSC. Furthermore, the issue has become moot and academic due to the issuance of Joint Circular No. 1, Series of 2003 by the DepEd and the DBM, which provided for upgrading the salary grades for district and education supervisors.
The Public Schools District Supervisor Association filed a petition seeking to declare as unconstitutional Rule IV, Section 4.3; Rule V, Sections 5.1 and the second paragraph of Section 5.2; and Rule VI, Section 6.2, paragraph 11 of DepEd Order No. 1, Series of 2003. They also sought to compel the DepEd and the DBM to upgrade the salary grade level of the district supervisors from Salary Grade 19 to SG 24. Petitioners claim that the questioned provisions of the IRR “extended or expanded and modified” the provisions of RA 9155 and that the downgrading of salary grade level of district supervisors is unconstitutional and illegal.
Concurring in the decision were Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban, Senior Associate Justice Reynato S. Puno, Justices Leonardo A. Quisumbing, Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez, Antonio T. Carpio, Ma. Alicia Austria-Martinez, Renato C. Corona, Conchita Carpio Morales, Adolfo S. Azcuna, Dante O. Tinga, Minita V. Chico-Nazario, Cancio C. Garcia, and Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr. Justice Consuelo Ynares-Santiago was on leave. (G.R. No. 157286, Public Schools District Supervisors Association, et al. vs. Hon. Edilberto C. De Jesus, et al., June 16, 2006)