Sunday, 01 January 2012 20:29
by Manly M. Ugalde / Correspondent
LEGAZPI CITY—Public works and highways engineers in Bicol scored dismally in the most recent Civil Service Promotional Test conducted by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
The agency said not a single district engineer and assistant district engineer in the region’s 16 districts passed the test.
A source who requested anonymity said of the more than 60 engineers who took the Oct. 1 promotional test, only 17 passed it.
The test was held at the New Era University in Quezon City for Luzon-based engineers, Tacloban City for Visayas-based engineers, and Davao City for Mindanao-based engineers.
The source, however, said he has no idea as to the passing percentage for all the examinees.
The DPWH-CSC promotional test was first introduced during the stewardship of Secretary Gregorio Vigilar in 1997. It was a difficult test compared to the recently held test which had only 200 questions and multiple-choice answers that deals on management decision-making and technical aspect.
DPWH regional maintenance engineer Antonio Saguinsin who also took the test confirmed that only seven engineers from Bicol had passed the test, saying Fermin Peteza who was the overall topnotcher in the 1997 promotional test was among the seven passers. Peteza is the current chief of the region’s Quality Assurance Unit holding a rank of Engineer V. Only those with the rank of Engineer III upward were qualified to take the test.
The test is the basis for promotion to a higher rank similar to the criteria of the promotional test in 1997.
But retired district engineer Manuel Saret who was among the passers during the 1997 test said that many DPWH engineers in Bicol who flunked the 1997 test were promoted for unknown reasons.
A source from the Civil Service Commission said the 1997 test flunkers should have never been promoted.
Saret said among the flunkers who was an engineer III at that time was promoted to district engineer in 2000 and is now among the division chiefs at the regional office holding an item of Engineer V.
Those who passed the recently held promotional test were Fermin Peteza, Benjamin Buitre, Eleanor Areola, Rebecca Roces, Marilou Sariba all from the regional office; Nilda Doloiras from Sorsogon Distrrict Engineering; and one from Camarines Sur District Engineering whose name has not been provided.
DPWH regional director Danilo Dequito had earlier said that flunkers occupying the positions of district engineers, assistant district engineers, division chiefs, and section chiefs in an acting capacity and holding a rank lower than what is required will be replaced by qualified engineers.
He said the criteria for promotion will be strictly followed, saying passing the Oct. 1 promo test is the first step.
Dequito and his assistant regional director Jesus Salmo are reportedly Career Executive Service Officers (Ceso). But according to Mike Aguilar of the private construction industry, Dequito was not a Ceso when designated in Bicol in October when the Aquino administration was determined in terminating non-Ceso holders appointed by the Arroyo administration.
Aguilar said Dequito became a full-pledged Ceso officer only last Sept. 30.
The appointment of Dequito and Salmo in Bicol had caused the termination of regional director Danilo Manalang and assistant regional directors Oscar Cristobal and Jaime Martinez.