Cruz v. Enriquez, Jr.
G.R. No. 154242
Decision Date


G.R. No. 154242. October 10, 2007.

VICTORINA A. CRUZ, petitioner, vs. HON. SALVADOR ENRIQUEZ, JR., in his capacity as Secretary of Department of Budget and Management, respondent.



The Case

Before the Court is a petition for review assailing the 5 April 2002 Decision and the 9 July 2002 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 45635.

The Antecedent Facts

Victorina A. Cruz (petitioner) held the position of Guidance and Counseling Coordinator III at the Valenzuela Municipal High School (VMHS) in Marulas, Valenzuela, Metro Manila since 1978. The position had the rank of secondary head teacher with an annual basic salary of P26,388. The local government paid petitioner's salary.

On 1 July 1987, Executive Order No. 189 (

Petitioner appealed her demotion to the Civil Service Commission Merit System Protection Board (CSC-MSPB). The CSC-MSPB referred the appeal to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for comment.

The DBM informed the CSC-MSPB that pursuant to effective 1 July 1987. Consequently, petitioner's annual salary was reduced from P26,388 to P18,636. However, since petitioner had an Equivalent Records Form (ERF) dated 7 June 1978 reflecting an accreditation of 20 masteral units in addition to her Bachelor of Science in Education (BSE) degree, petitioner was entitled under the NCCP to an upgraded R-57 item with corresponding annual salary of P20,232 effective 1 July 1987.

The DBM also informed the CSC-MSPB that since petitioner had a Master of Arts (MA) equivalent approved on 6 November 1987, she was again entitled to an upgraded R-58 with an annual salary of P21,264 effective 6 November 1987, adjustable to an annual salary of P23,388 pursuant to Letter of Instruction No. 406, series of 1984, as implemented by Circular Letter No. 84-4 dated 30 May 1984. The DBM stated that since prior to the nationalization of the position, petitioner had an annual salary of P26,388, she should be allowed to continue receiving that amount effective 1 July 1987 in her nationalized position as Guidance Counselor, R-58 (MA-equivalent), with P20,232 from the national government and P6,156 from the Caloocan City treasury. From 6 November 1987 to 31 December 1987, P21,264 would come from the national treasury and P5,125 from the Caloocan City funds in accordance with Section 4.2 of DECS-DBM Joint Circular No. 1 dated 1 July 1987, implementing STIcEA

On 1 July 1989, (

On 19 June 1990, the CSC-MSPB rendered its Decision, the dispositive portion of which reads:

WHEREFORE, this Board renders judgment as follows:

1. The appeal of Ms. Victorina A. Cruz is granted. The reclassified position of appellant from local to national in the VMHS, Metro Manila should be adjusted to a range with salary rate of P26,389 from October 1987 to December 31, 1987. The amount of P21,264.00 per annum shall be taken and paid from the national fund, and the balance of P5,125 shall be taken from the Caloocan City local fund. From January 1, 1988 to October 15, 1989 the appellant shall be paid the sum of P29,029.20 per annum on an adjustment of her range under provisions of EO 189 and DECS-DBM Joint Circular No. 1, s. 1987. If the national fund to which shall be paid not be authorized, the position shall be paid by the Caloocan City local fund in accordance with the letter of DBM to this Board dated June 5, 1989.

2. After October 15, 1989 Ms. Victorina A. Cruz shall be paid her salary under the recent enactment (R.A. 6758) which increased the salary per month of teacher as applied by the DECS to nationalized teachers.

3. Ms. Cruz is entitled to receive salary differential from October 1, 1987 to December 31, 1987; and from January 1, 1988 to October 15, 1989. Thereafter, she shall be entitled to the benefits of R.A. 6758 otherwise known as the Teachers Salary Standardization Law which include the teachers. The adjustment of her range to 63 is denied for being moot and academic.

On 26 July 1990, the DECS sought clarification of the 19 June 1990 CSC-MSPB Decision as regards petitioner's position and equivalent salary grade under

On 31 August 1990, the CSC-MSPB issued an Order, as follows:

Based on the adjusted range, under the provisions of EO 189 and DECS-DBM Joint Circular No. 1, s. 1987, the position of appellant Cruz has the equivalent rank of Head Teacher II at the time of the effectivity of R.A. 6758.

Pursuant to National Compensation Circular No. 57 dated September 30, 1989, the position of Guidance Coordinator held by appellant was reclassified into Guidance Services Specialist II and was assigned a salary grade 16. Such being the case, the salary of Ms. Cruz should be based on such grade.

WHEREFORE, this Board hereby directs that after October 15, 1989, Ms. Victorina A. Cruz shall be paid her salary corresponding to grade 16 pursuant to R.A. 6758, otherwise known as the Salary Standardization Law.

The Schools Division Superintendent of Caloocan City, DECS-National Capital Region, requested for the issuance of a supplemental Position Allocation List (PAL) of the VMHS to reflect petitioner's reclassified position from Guidance Counselor III, SG-11 to Guidance Specialist II, SG-16. On 10 May 1991, the DBM, through then Undersecretary Salvador M. Enriquez, Jr., denied the request on the ground that the CSC-MSPB had no jurisdiction to reclassify petitioner's position. EScAHT

On 3 July 1991, petitioner filed a motion for execution of the CSC-MSPB's 19 June 1990 Decision and 31 August 1990 Order. In its Order dated 18 March 1992, the CSC-MSPB directed the DECS and the DBM to implement its Decision.

Petitioner was on sick leave from December 1992 to 4 March 1993 for multiple myoma operation. In June 1993, petitioner discovered that the VMHS payroll for school year 1993-1994 reflected her position as Guidance Counselor III, SG-12. Petitioner filed a petition for mandamus before the Court of Appeals, docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 31614, to compel the DBM Secretary to implement the 19 June 1990 Decision of the CSC-MSPB. The Court of Appeals denied the petition, as well as petitioner's motion for reconsideration. Petitioner went to this Court for relief, via a petition for review docketed as G.R. No. 119155, raising the issue of whether the CSC-MSPB had jurisdiction to reclassify petitioner's position and order the payment of the corresponding salary. In its Decision promulgated on 30 January 1996, the Court ruled that the CSC-MSPB acted without jurisdiction in reclassifying petitioner's position to Guidance Services Specialist II, SG-16. The Court ruled that the DBM has the sole power and discretion to administer the compensation and position classification system of the national government. Thus, the CSC-MSPB should have referred the issue to the DBM instead of merely asking for the DBM's comment. The Court dismissed the petition, "without prejudice on the part of the petitioner to pursue her grievance with the Department of Budget and Management through the Compensation and Position Classification Board CPCB."

Petitioner filed before the CPCB a request for the reclassification of her position from Guidance Counselor III, SG-12 to Guidance Coordinator III, SG-15. The DBM, through the CPCB, denied her request on 24 September 1996. On 29 July 1997, the DBM denied petitioner's motion for reconsideration. Petitioner filed a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals. Petitioner alleged that in denying her request, the DBM failed to consider the standards prescribed by law. Petitioner further alleged that the DBM gave due emphasis to her position title and designation and titles and designations of the teachers under her supervision instead of their actual functions.

The Ruling of the Court of Appeals

In its 5 April 2002 Decision, the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition. The Court of Appeals ruled that the original PAL issued to VMHS per

The Court of Appeals noted that on 27 October 1997, petitioner was appointed as Master Teacher I with an equivalent salary of SG-16. The Court of Appeals ruled that the petition was rendered academic since petitioner's present position as Master Teacher I, SG-16 is higher than Guidance Coordinator, SG-15.

Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. In its 9 July 2002 Resolution, the Court of Appeals denied the motion.

Hence, the petition before this Court.

The Issues

Petitioner raises the following issues in her memorandum:

1. Whether petitioner's actual duties should determine or prevail in reclassifying her position under EO 189.

2. Whether petitioner's rank and salary were respected when her position was reclassified from Guidance and Counseling Coordinator to Guidance Counselor, R-56.

3. Whether petitioner is entitled to salary differentials from the time her position was reclassified up to the present.

4. Whether petitioner's claim is rendered academic by her acceptance of the position of a Master Teacher.

The Ruling of this Court

The petition has no merit.

Reclassification Should be Based on Official Designations

Petitioner alleges that the DBM failed to consider her actual duties and functions at the time of the reclassification. Petitioner alleges that the DBM failed to classify petitioner's position on the mere ground that she was not supervising actual guidance counselors but only teachers designated as guidance counselors.

We sustain the DBM. In denying the petitioner's request for reclassification of her position, the DBM declared:

We have taken notice of your representation of exercising supervision over a number of Guidance Counselors (eleven) in the Valenzuela National High School (VNHS). Based on DBM and DECS standards, a position having supervision of at least seven (7) Guidance Counselor positions may be classified as Guidance Coordinator. If the person supervising said seven (7) positions is an M.A. or MA Equivalent holder, the correct classification would be Guidance Coordinator III, SG-15. It must be made clear however that the seven (7) Guidance Counselors being supervised are not mere designation but are actually incumbents of Guidance Counselor positions. (Emphasis supplied)

The standard for reclassification should be the official designations of the incumbents instead of their actual functions. Section 2.1 of DECS-DBM Circular No. 1 defines "Public Secondary School Teachers" as "classroom teachers, principals, head teachers and other personnel occupying teaching-related positions specified in the holding duly approved and attested appointments in the public secondary schools under the different local government units." In this case, the teachers under petitioner's supervision, while designated as Guidance Counselors, had no official appointments as Guidance Counselors. The DBM noted that the staffing pattern of VMHS did not provide for other Guidance Counselor positions except the position held by petitioner. The internal arrangement among VMHS, petitioner, and the teachers she supervised could not be considered by the DBM as the basis for reclassifying petitioner's position.

Petitioner is not Entitled to Salary Differentials

Petitioner alleges that the reclassification of her position under HaIESC

Section 3 of

Sec. 3. Compensation. The salaries and cost of living allowances of nationalized public secondary school teachers shall be paid in accordance with the rates prescribed for their national counterparts; PROVIDED THAT, in case of nationalized public secondary school teachers whose basic salaries and cost of living allowances are in excess of those prescribed for their national counterparts, the excess shall continue to be paid by their respective local governments.

Section 4.1 of DECS-DBM Circular No. 1 also provides:

4.1. There shall be no diminution/reduction in all existing compensation received by public secondary school teachers as a result of their nationalization. Neither will the existing additional benefits of public elementary school teachers funded by local governments/local school boards be discontinued or reduced. New additional benefits to public school teachers may be granted in accordance with the Constitutional mandate for the standardization of compensation of government officials and employees as provided under Article IX(B), Sect. 5 of the 1986 Constitution.

Clearly, pursuant to local government. Hence, petitioner has no ground to claim for salary differentials from the national government.

Petitioner alleges that the Court of Appeals erred in declaring that the case was rendered academic by her acceptance of the position of a Master Teacher which has a higher salary level than Guidance Coordinator. The Court of Appeals might have made such statement in passing but its Decision is still based on the merits of the case. Hence, there is no need to further discuss this issue.

WHEREFORE, we DENY the petition. We AFFIRM the 5 April 2002 Decision and the 9 July 2002 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 45635.


Quisumbing, Carpio-Morales, Tinga and Velasco, Jr., JJ., concur.


1. Under Rule 45 of the

2. Rollo, pp. 20-29. Penned by Associate Justice Bernardo P. Abesamis with Associate Justices Perlita J. Tria Tirona and Rebecca De Guia Salvador, concurring.

3. Id. at 31.

4. Also referred to by the DBM as Valenzuela National High School (VNHS).

5. Now Valenzuela City.

6. Placing All Public Secondary School Teachers Under the Administrative Supervision and Control of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports and For Other Purposes.

7. Erroneously stated as 5-59 in the Decision of the Court of Appeals.


9. Rollo, p. 22.

10. Id. at 23.

11. , 322 Phil. 649 (1996).

12. Id. at 669.

13. Rollo, p. 103.

14. CA rollo, p. 14.

15. Emphasis supplied.

16. Dated 1 July 1987.