Governor’s spokesperson, Daniel Garcia cites Rempillo’s failure to accomplish a Provincial Health Office program and projects operation plan.
Mar S. Arguelles
Legazpi City, [02.03.19] – Albay Governor Al Francis C. Bichara is facing charges of grave abuse of authority and grave misconduct before the Office of the Ombudsman for his refusal to reinstate Dr. Nathaniel Rempillo, former chief of the Albay Health Office.
Rempillo in an interview last week admitted that he has filed charges for grave misconduct and administrative complaints about grave abuse of authority arising from his relief as chief of the provincial health office and being transferred to the newly created Provincial Health Care Development Committee (PHCDC) on June 9, 2017.
He claimed that the order for his transfer was issued on June 9, 2017, then came another order made on June 13, 2017, of the same year creating the PHCDC.
Despite the inconsistencies of the order, he obeyed the reassignment order heading a non-existing order committee with no alleged personnel to work with.
Rempillo told media that he already doubted the motive of his reassignment but still followed the Bichara directive of reassignment believing that it was for the interest of the service.
He said he readily functioned as head of PHCDC, without availing of his right to appeal his reassignment before the Civil Service Commission.
Rempillo said while doing his duties he was not allowed to collect the PhP17,000.00 monthly Representation and Transportation Allowance (RATA) and the PhP1,500.00 cellphone load that he deserved to receive as Provincial Health Officer III.
He jokingly said, “for the two years that I have not received a single RATA I should have PhP408,000.00 that I can use as down payment for a new car.”
As his reassignment order ended in on June 9, 2018, as prescribed by the Civil Service Commission, he wrote a letter to Bichara about his readiness to return to his post citing the CSC ruling where it said that reassignment to other posts would only be allowed for a year term.
Rempillo said he would question and challenge the directive saying “he is ready to fight for my right as a government employee being given unfair treatment; this fight is not only for myself but to the other government employee that has been subjected to the transfer and reassignment.
He said there were several employees at the provincial capitol that have met the same fate as he is when Bichara moved in as governor in July 2016.
Oddly, Bichara in addressing Rempillo’s concern, issued an office order (No.85) on June 18, 2018 directing him to continue to function as head of the committee which prompted him to make a written appeal for reconsideration again citing the Omnibus rules on Appointments and other Personal Actions promulgated of the CSC which allow reassignment only for a minimum period of one year.
Bichara even transferred the PHO office and staff at the Albay Public Safety Office (APSEMO) here to the Josefina B. Duran District Hospital in Ligao City.
Rempillo describes the transfer to be a sort of a personal “harassment” on him leaving him alone in a big office space with no personnel.
He also considers it as a dislocation of 75 PHO personnel majority of which live in Legazpi City and neighboring towns in the second district of the province.
He said that the PHO transfer would hamper the delivery of the much-need health services to poor clients seeking medicine medical and assistance in the province, saying “PHO location in this city is a strategic location as the clients from the 1st and 3rd districts can be acted upon swiftly.”
When asked if his reassignment has to do with his being a close ally to former Governor Joey Sarte Salceda, currently the Albay Second District Representative, Rempillo said: “I don’t believe that Governor Bichara will be so trivial about this but looking at the situation it may be one of the reason.”
Purchase of supplies of Medicines
Rempillo said he could have gotten the ire of the administration when he refused to sign purchase receipts documents for the procurement of medicines and other supplies which according to him are questionable.
As this developed, this reporter texted Governor Bichara to get a statement about the complaint filed against him. Instead, the Governor’s spokesperson, Daniel Garcia responded by saying “the governor leaves it to the Office of the Ombudsman to do the investigation as the governor has already submitted his position papers.”
According to Garcia, the Governor has readily answered all complaints slapped on him by Rempillo and the Governor is hoping that the complaint is immediately resolved by the Ombudsman.
Garcia in a phone interview said the Governor took notice of the failure of Rempillo to accomplish his assigned task to prepare a program, projects plan for the Provincial Health Office operation.
“He was not able to perform and deliver what was expected of him; his transfer was to look for somebody to perform the task given by the Governor,” Garcia said.
Replacing Rempillo as PHO head, Bichara designated Dr. Antonio Ludovice, PHO II as Officer-in-Charge.