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Series of 2005
22 July 2005


Laganginlang, Abra


DILG Provincial Office
Bangued, Abra
Dear MLGOO Trinidad:

This refers to your letter-query of 21 July 2005 seeking enlightenment on some
issues relative to the Order of the Ombudsman suspending the Punong Barangay
of Tagodtod, Lagangilang, Abra for a period of one (1) year without pay.
Particularly, you want to be clarified on the following issues are hereunder
1. When shall be the effectivity of the suspension of the Punong
Barangay as well as the assumption of the highest ranked Kagawad as
Acting Punong Barangay;
2. Will the Acting Punong Barangay receive an honorarium equivalent to
that of the Punong Barangay?
3. Can the Acting Punong Barangay terminate the services of the
barangay secretary and the barangay treasurer if they fail or refuse to
cooperate or work well with him?

In reply to the first issue, the effectivity of the Order of suspension shall, unless
it was expressly provided in the Order, be on the ACTUAL date of its
implementation, that is, on the day the respondent Punong Barangay starts to
serve the penalty of suspension by not reporting to office. In the instant case, it
is clear from the Order itself that the implementation thereof was left to the
Secretary of our Department.
Needless to mention, we have to wait for the proper directive from our SILG for
the proper implementation of the suspension order. And once there is temporary
vacancy in the Office of the Punong Barangay in view of the suspension of the
Punong Barangay, then the highest ranked Kagawad shall automatically exercise
the powers and perform the duties and functions of the Office of the Punong
Barangay without any further act except of course the taking of his oath before
the Mayor, Judge, Notary Public or any other persons authorized to administer
oaths under the Administrative Code of 1997.

Anent the second issue, we answer in the AFFIRMATIVE. Though the law is silent
as to the compensation of the one performing the powers and functions of the
Office of the Punong Barangay in a temporary capacity, we should apply the
long-established principle of quantum merit or equal pay for equal work.
Additionally, our Department once ruled that the Acting Vice Governor shall be
entitled to the compensation of prescribed for the Office of the Vice Governor but
not to exceed the same pursuant to the proscription against double
compensation (Legal Opinion No. 122, dated October 14, 1997 rendered to Hon.
Marcelino G. Aganon, Jr., Acting Vice Governor, Tarlac, Tarlac).

And on the third and last issue, we now answer in the AFFIRMATIVE. Section 46
(a) of the Code is explicit when it provides that the power to appoint, suspend or
dismiss employees can only be exercised by the Acting Local Chief Executive if
the period of temporary incapacity exceeds thirty (30) working days. There is no
doubt that the one-year suspension of PB Borgonia exceeds 30 working days. In
fact, the Acting Punong Barangay can appoint or dismiss employees on the first
day of his assumption as such without need of waiting the lapse of 30 working
days. Provided, however, that the required concurrence by the majority of all
members of the Sangguniang Barangay had been secured.
We hope to have enlightened you on the matter at hand. Our opinion, however,
is without prejudice to a contrary opinion or ruling of higher authorities or
Warm regards.
Very truly yours,

Regional Director
/opinion 05-112