by: Jojie L. Arias
Government employees are entitled of leave privileges for their continuous services in the government, enable them to rest and recuperate as well as to regain vigor and energy. For this purpose, leave laws are provided to serve as guide in processing leave and availing leave benefits. As commonly defined, leave of absence is a right not to report for work with or without pay for one or more days, with the employee’s position held for him/her until return. This requires authorization and consent of the immediate supervisor and head of agency or his/her designated representative. (CSC HRM in the Civil Service)
Improving the leave processing system also requires the provision of sufficient information to the teaching and non-teaching employees on what are the leave benefits and how to avail these leave privileges. In availing leave privileges, the Leave Section processes the Application for Leave (Form 6) consistent to the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order No. 292. As provided for in Section 6, Section 25, Section 9, and Section 53, Rule XVI Omnibus Rules on Leave, there are two general types of leave that government employees can avail such as the vacation leave and sick leave.
The first type is Vacation leave which refers to the leave of absence granted to government officials and employees for personal reasons, the approval of which is contingent upon the necessities of the service. In vacation leave, there are two different vacation leave privileges benefitted by the government employees like the vacation leave for teachers (Section 6 of the Omnibus Rules on Leave) and vacation leave for non-teaching employees (Section 25 of the Omnibus Rules on Leave).
First, on vacation leave for teachers. Section 6 of the Omnibus Rules on Leave states that the teachers shall not be entitled to the usual vacation and sick leave credits but to Proportional Vacation Pay (PVP) of 70 days of summer vacation plus 14 days of Christmas vacation. And if a teacher who has rendered continuous service in a school year without incurring absences without pay of not more than 1 ½ days is entitled to 84 days of PVP.
Other leave benefits of teachers such as study leave and indefinite sick leave are covered by Section 24 and Section 25 of Republic Act No. 4670 (Magna Carta for Public School Teachers). (Provided for under CSC MC No. 41, s. 1998)
To avail the vacation leave for teachers within the Philippines, the following requirements need to be submitted: duly signed CSC Form 6 or Application of Leave, letter of intent address to the Schools Division Superintendent, and for vacation leave more than 30 days submit Teacher’s School Clearance and Division Clearance.
On the other hand, in availing vacation leave for teachers outside the Philippines (travel abroad), these requirements shall be submitted: duly signed CSC Form 6 or Application of Leave, approved letter of intent from the Schools Division Superintendent, Teacher’s School Clearance and Division Clearance.
The second general type is the vacation leave for the non-teaching employees. Section 25 of the Omnibus Rules on Leave states that all government officials and employees with 10 days or more vacation leave credits shall have a five days forced/mandatory leave or shall be required to go on vacation leave whether continuous or intermittent for a minimum of five (5) working days annually. The head of agency shall, upon prior consultation with the employee prepare a staggered schedule of the mandatory five-day vacation leave of officials and employees, provided that he may in the exigency of the service, cancel any previously scheduled leave.
The mandatory annual five-day vacation leave shall be forfeited if not taken during the year. However, in cases where the scheduled leave has been cancelled in the exigency of the service by the head of the agency, the scheduled leave not enjoyed shall no longer be deducted from the total accumulated vacation leave.
Availing the vacation leave for the non-teaching employees within the Philippines requires the submission of the following documents: duly signed CSC Form 6 or Application of Leave, letter of intent address to the Schools Division Superintendent, and for vacation of 30 days and above employees shall submit School Clearance and/or Division Clearance.
Meanwhile, on vacation leave for the non-teaching employees on travel abroad, these requirements shall be complied: duly signed CSC Form 6 or Application of Leave, approved letter of intent from the Schools Division Superintendent, School Clearance, Division Clearance, and Certificate of No Pending Case.
Moreover, it is important to note that the application for vacation leave for one full day or more shall be submitted five days in advance whenever possible, of the effective date of such leave. This gives the Division ample time to process the Form 6 and enable the employee to submit whatever supporting documents as the case may be.
Next general type of leave is sick leave which refers to the leave of absence granted only on account of sickness or disability on the part of the employee concerned or any member of his immediate family under Section 9 of the Omnibus Rule Vacation service credits of teachers. Teacher’s vacation service credits refer to the leave credits earned for services rendered on activities during summer of Christmas vacation, as authorized by proper authority. These vacation service credits are used to offset absences of a teacher due to illness.
Section 53 of the Omnibus Rule embodies that all application for sick leave of absence for one full day or more shall be made on the prescribed form and shall be filed immediately upon employee’s return from such leave. Application for sick leave in excess of five (5) successive days shall be accompanied by a proper medical certificate. Sick leave may be applied for in advance in cases where the official or employee will undergo medical examination or operation or advised to rest in view of ill health duly supported by a medical certificate.
In availing sick leave, an employee is required to submit documents such as: duly signed CSC Form 6 or Application of Leave, letter of intent address to the Schools Division Superintendent, and for sick leave with more than five days shall be accompanied with Teacher’s Clearance and medical certificate.
Indeed, government employees can avail of the vacation leave and sick leave privilege provided the afore-cited policies and requirements are complied. Thus, to ensure effective and efficient leave processing on these two general types of leaves, it is important that the Omnibus Rules on Leave is clearly understood and complied by the employees of this Division to avoid future technicalities and administrative sanctions as the case may be.