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G.R. No. 97419 July 3, 1992 GAUDENCIO T. CENA, petitioner, vs. THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, a ! THE HON.

"ATRICIA A. STO. TOMAS, # C$a#&+a o, )$% C#-#l S%&-#'% Co++#**#o , respondents. MEDIALDEA, J.: May a government employee who has reached the compulsory retirement age of 65 years, but who has rendered 11 years, 9 months and 6 days of government service, be allowed to continue in the service to complete the 15-year service requirement to enable him to retire with the benefits of an old-age pension under ection 11 par. !b" of the #evised $overnment ervice %nsurance &ct of 19''( )his is the issue raised before this *ourt by petitioner $audencio ). *ena, a #egistrar of the #egister of +eeds of Malabon, Metro Manila. )he facts are not disputed. ,etitioner $audencio ). *ena entered the government service on -ovember 16, 19'. as /egal 0fficer %% of the /aw +epartment of *aloocan *ity where he stayed for seven !'" years until his transfer on -ovember 16, 19.6 to the 0ffice of the *ongressman of the 1irst +istrict of *aloocan *ity where he wor2ed for only three !3" months, or until 1ebruary 15, 19.', as upervising taff 0fficer. 0n 4uly 16, 19.', he was appointed as #egistrar of the #egister of +eeds of Malabon, Metro Manila, the position he held at the time he reached the compulsory retirement age of 65 years on 4anuary 55, 1991. 6y then, he would have rendered a total government service of 11 years, 9 months and 6 days. 6efore reaching his 65th birthday, he requested the ecretary of 4ustice, through &dministrator )eodoro $. 6onifacio of the /and #egistration &uthority !/#&", that he be allowed to e7tend his service to complete the 15-year service requirement to enable him to retire with full benefits of old-age pension under ection 11, par. !b" of ,.+. 1186. )he /#& &dministrator, for his part, sought a ruling from the *ivil ervice *ommission whether or not to allow the e7tension of service of petitioner *ena as he is covered by *ivil ervice Memorandum -o. 5', series 1999. %n his 5nd %ndorsement dated &ugust 6, 1999, the /#& &dministrator observed that if petitioner:s service as of 4anuary 55, 1991 of 19 years, 6 months and 6 days !should be 11 years, 9 months and 6 days" would be e7tended to 15 years, he would have to retire on &pril 15, 1998 at the age of 6. years. 0n 4uly 31, 1999, the *ivil ervice *ommission denied petitioner *ena:s request for e7tension of service in its * * #esolution -o. 99-6.1, declaring therein, that Mr. *ena shall be considered retired from the service on 4anuary 55, 1991, the date when he shall reach the compulsory retirement age of si7ty-five !65" years, unless his retention for another year is sought by the head of office under *ivil ervice Memorandum *ircular -o. 5', s. 1999. ,etitioner *ena filed a motion for reconsideration. 0n 0ctober 1', 1999, the *ivil ervice *ommission set aside its * * #esolution -o. 99-6.1 and allowed $audencio *ena a one-year e7tension of his service from 4anuary 55, 1991 to 4anuary 55, 1995, citing * * Memorandum *ircular -o. 5', series of 1999, the pertinent of which reads; 1. &ny request for the e7tension of service of compulsory retirees to complete the fifteen !15" years service requirement for retirement shall be allowed only to permanent appointees in the career service who are regular members of the $overnment ervice %nsurance ystem !$ % ", and shall be granted for a period not exceeding one (1) year. 0n 4anuary 55, 1991, petitioner:s second motion for reconsideration was denied in its * * #esolution -o. 91-191.

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<ence, the instant petition for review on certiorari alleging that the *ivil ervice *ommission committed a grave abuse of discretion when it granted the e7tension of petitioner:s service as #egistrar of +eeds of Malabon, Metro Manila, for a period of only one !1" year pursuant to * * Memorandum *ircular -o. 5', eries of 1999, instead of three !3" years and three !3" months to complete the 15-year service requirement for his retirement with full benefits as provided under ection 11, par. !b" of ,residential +egree -o. 1186, otherwise 2nown as the #evised $overnment ervice %nsurance &ct of 19''. ,etitioner contends that reliance of the *ommission on par. !1" of Memorandum *ircular -o. 5' allowing an e7tension of service of a compulsory retiree for a period not e7ceeding one !1" year is both erroneous and contrary to the =benevolent and munificent intentions= of ection 11 of ,.+. 1186. ,etitioner points out that par. !b", ection 11 of ,.+. -o. 1186 does not limit nor specify the ma7imum number of years the retiree may avail of to complete the 15 years of service. )he olicitor-$eneral agrees with petitioner *ena. <e argues that the questioned provision being generally worded, ection 11 par. !b", ,.+. 1186 has general application, thus respondent * * has no authority to limit through * * Memorandum *ircular -o. 5' the privilege under said section to government employees who lac2 >ust one year to complete the 15-year service requirement. )he *ivil ervice *ommission, however, contends that since public respondent * * is the central personnel agency of the government, it is vested with the power and authority, among others, to grant or allow e7tension of service beyond retirement age pursuant to ection 18 par. !18", *hapter 3, ubtitle &, )itle %, 6oo2 ? of @7ecutive 0rder -o. 595 !&dministrative *ode of 19.'". %n interpreting ection 11 par. !b" of ,.+. 1186, public respondent * * contends that the phrase =,rovided, )hat if he has less than fifteen years of service, he shall be allowed to continue in the service to complete the fifteen years=, is qualified by the clause; =Anless the service is e7tended by appropriate authorities,= which means that the e7tension of service must be first authoriBed by the *ommission, as the appropriate authority referred to in ection 11, par. !b", ,.+. 1186, before the service of a compulsory retiree !one who has already reached age of 65 years with at least 15 years of service" can be e7tended. Ce grant the petition. ection 15, par. !18", *hapter 3, ubtitle &, )itle %, 6oo2 ? of the &dministrative *ode of 19.' !-ovember 58, 19.'" cannot be interpreted to authoriBe the *ivil ervice *ommission to limit to only one !1" year the e7tension of service of an employee who has reached the compulsory retirement age of 65 without having completed 15 years of service, when said limitation his no relation to or connection with the provision of the law supposed to be carried into effect. ection 15, par. !18", *hapter 3, thus; ubtitle &, )itle %, 6oo2 ? of the &dministrative *ode of 19.' provides

ec. 15. Powers and Functions. D )he *ommission shall have the following powers and functions; 777 777 777 !18" )a2e appropriate action on all appointments and other personnel matters in the *ivil ervice including e7tension of service beyond retirement ageE &s a law of general application, the &dministrative *ode of 19.' cannot authoriBe the modification of an e7press provision of a special law !#evised $overnment ervice %nsurance of 19''". 0therwise, the intent and purpose of the provisions on retirement and pension of the #evised $overnment ervice %nsurance &ct of 19'' !,.+. 1186" would be rendered nugatory and meaningless. ection 11 paragraph !b" of the #evised $overnment thus; ervice %nsurance &ct of 19'' e7pressly provides,

ec. 11. Conditions for Old-Age Pension. D !a" 0ld-age pension shall be paid to a member who; 777 777 777 !b" Anless the service is e7tended by appropriate authorities, retirement shall be compulsory for an employee of si7ty-five years of age with at least fifteen years of service; ,rovided, )hat if he has less than fifteen years of service, he shall be allowed to continue in the service to complete the fifteen years. !@mphasis supplied" 6eing remedial in character, a statute creating a pension or establishing retirement plan should be liberally construed and administered in favor of the persons intended to be benefited thereby. )he liberal approach aims to achieve the humanitarian purposes of the law in order that the efficiency, security and well-being of government employees may be enhanced !6autista vs. &uditor $eneral, 198 ,hil 85.E 0rtiB vs. *ommission on @lections, $.#. -o. /-'.95', 4une 5., 19.., 165 *#& .15". )he *ourt stated in &bad antos vs. &uditor $eneral, '9 ,hil. 1'6, that a pension parta2es of the nature of =retained wages= of the retiree for a double purpose; !1" to entice competent men and women to enter the government service, and !5" permit them to retire from the service with relative security, not only for those who have retained their vigor, but more so for those who have been incapacitated by illness or accident. Ce have applied the liberal approach in interpreting statutes creating pension or establishing retirement plans in cases involving officials of the 4udiciary who lac2ed the age and service requirement for retirement. Ce see no cogent reason to rule otherwise in the case of ordinary employees of the @7ecutive 6ranch, as in the case of petitioner *ena, who has reached 65 but opted to avail of the statutory privilege under ection 11 par. !b" of ,.+. 1186 to continue in the service to complete the 15-year service requirement in order to avail of old-age pension. %n #e; &pplication for $ratuity 6enefits of &ssociate 4ustice @fren %. ,lana, &dm. Matter -o. 5869, @n 6anc #esolution, March 58, 19.., the *ourt, applying the liberal approach, ruled that 4ustice ,lana, who at the time of his courtesy resignation on March 55, 19.6 lac2ed a few months to meet the age requirement for retirement under the law, is entitled to full retirement benefits under #.&. 919 because his accrued leave credits would have entitled him to go on leave until beyond the age requirement for retirement. )he above ruling of the *ourt was reiterated in #e; &pplication for #etirement under #ep. &ct -o. 919 of &ssociate 4ustice #amon 6. 6ritanico of the %ntermediate &ppellate *ourt, &dm. Matter -o. 68.8 D #et., May 15, 19.9. 6y liberally interpreting ection 3 of #.&. 919, as amended, in favor of the persons intended to be benefited by them, the *ourt also allowed the conversion of the application for disability retirement of 4ustice #uperto Martin under said ection 3 of #.&. 919, as amended !19-year lump sum without the lifetime annuity" into an application for voluntary retirement under ection 1 !5-year lump sum with lifetime annuity" eleven years after his disability retirement was approved on 4anuary 19, 19'. !%n #e; &pplication for /ife ,ension under #ep. &ct 919. #uperto $. Martin, applicant, 1.' *#& 8''". )he ten-year lump sum which he had received was considered by the *ourt as payment under ection 1 of the five-year lump sum, to which he was entitled, and of his monthly pensions for the ne7t five years. <owever, the *ourt pointed out in #e; $regorio $. ,ineda, &dm. Matter -o. 59'6-#@)., 4uly 13, 1999, and its si7 !6" companion cases, 1.' *#& 869, that when the *ourt allows seeming e7ceptions to fi7ed rules for certain retired 4udges or 4ustices, there are ample reasons behind each grant of an e7ception. )he crediting of accumulated leaves to ma2e up for lac2 of required age or length of service is not done indiscriminately. %t is always on case to case basis. )here is thus no >ustifiable reason in not allowing ordinary employees in the @7ecutive 6ranch on a case to case basis, to continue in the service to complete the 15-year service requirement to avail of the old-age pension under ection 11 of ,.+. 1186. 6y limiting the e7tension of service to only one !1" year would defeat the beneficial intendment of the retirement provisions of ,.+. 1186.

%n resolving the question whether or not to allow a compulsory retiree to continue in the service to complete the 15-year service, there must be present an essential factor before an application under ection 11 par. !b" of ,.+. 1186 may be granted by the employer or government office concerned. %n the case of officials of the 4udiciary, the *ourt allows a ma2ing up or compensating for lac2 of required age or service only if satisfied that the career of the retiree was mar2ed by competence, integrity, and dedication to the public service !#e; $regorio ,ineda, supra". %t must be so in the instant case. %t is interesting to note that the phrase =he shall be allowed to continue in the service to complete the fifteen years= found in ection 11 !b" of ,.+. 1186 is a reproduction of the phrase in the original te7t found in ection 15 !e" of *ommonwealth &ct 1.6, as amended, otherwise 2nown as the =$overnment ervice %nsurance &ct= approved on -ovember 18, 1936. )here is nothing in the original te7t as well as in the revised version which would serve as the basis for providing the allowable e7tension period to only one !1" year. )here is li2ewise no indication that ection 11 par. !b" of ,.+. 1186 contemplates a borderline situation where a compulsory retiree on his 65th birthday has completed more than 18, but less than 15 years of government service., i.e. only a few months short of the 15-year requirement which would enable him to collect an old-age pension. Chile it is true that the &dministrative *ode of 19.' has given the *ivil ervice *ommission the authority =to ta2e appropriate action on all appointments and other personnel matters in the *ivil ervice including e7tension of service beyond retirement age=, the said provision cannot be e7tended to embrace matters not covered by the #evised $overnment ervice %nsurance &ct of 19'' ! to. )omas vs. 6oard of )a7 &ppeals, 93 ,hil. 3'6, 3.5, =citing 15 *.4. .85-86". )he authority referred to therein is limited only to carrying into effect what the special law, #evised $overnment %nsurance &ct of 19'', or any other retirement law being invo2ed provides. %t cannot go beyond the terms and provisions of the basic law. )he *ivil ervice *ommission Memorandum *ircular -o. 5' being in the nature of an administrative regulation, must be governed by the principle that administrative regulations adopted under legislative authority by a particular department must be in harmony with the provisions of the law, and should be for the sole purpose of carrying into effect its general provisions !,eople vs. Maceren, $.#. -o. /-35166, 0ctober 1., 19'', '9 *#& 859E )eo7on v. Members of the 6oard of &dministrators, /-55619, 4une 39, 19'9, 33 *#& 5.5E Manuel v. $eneral &uditing 0ffice, /-5.955, +ecember 59, 19'1, 85 *#& 669E +eluao v. *asteel, /-51996, &ugust 59, 1969, 59 *#& 359". )he pronouncement of the *ourt in the case of Augusta oledo !s. Ci!il "er!ice Co##ission$ et al. , $.#. -o. 95686-8', 0ctober 8, 1991, squarely applies in the instant case. Ce declared in the case of )oledo that the rule prohibiting 5'-year old persons from employment, reinstatement, or re-employment in the government service provided under ection 55, #ule %%% of the *ivil ervice #ules on ,ersonnel &ctions and ,olicies !* #,&," cannot be accorded validity, because it is entirely a creation of the *ivil ervice *ommission, having no basis in the law itself which it was meant to implement and it cannot be related to or connected with any specific provision of the law which it is meant to carry into effect. )he *ourt, spea2ing thru 4ustice @dgardo /. ,aras, stated, thus; )he power vested in the *ivil ervice *ommission was to implement the law or put it into effect, not to add to itE to carry the law into effect or e7ecution, not to supply perceived omissions in it. =6y its administrative regulations, of course, the law itself can not be e7tendedE said regulations cannot amend an act of *ongress.= !)eo7on v. Members of the 6oard of &dministrators, ,hilippine ?eterans &dministration, 33 *#& 5.5, 5.9 F19'9G, citing antos v. @stenBo, 199 ,hil. 819 F1969GE see also, &nimos v. ,hilippine ?eterans &ffairs 0ffice, 1'8 *#& 518, 553-558 F19.9G in turn citing )eo7on". )he considerations >ust e7pounded also conduce to the conclusion of the invalidity of ection 55, #ule %%% of the * #,&,. )he enactment of said section, relative to 5'-year old persons, was also an act of supererogation on the part of the *ivil ervice *ommission since the rule has no relation to or connection with any provision of the law supposed to be carried into effect. )he section was an addition to or e7tension of the law, not merely a mode of carrying it into effect. !@mphasis supplied"

)he governing retirement law in the instant case is ,.+. 1186 otherwise 2nown as the =#evised $overnment ervice %nsurance &ct of 19''.= )he rule on limiting to only one !1" year the e7tension of service of an employee who has reached the compulsory retirement age of 65 years, but has less than 15 years of service under *ivil ervice Memorandum *ircular -o. 5' s. 1999, cannot li2ewise be accorded validity because it has no relation to or connection with any provision of ,.+. 1186 supposed to be carried into effect. )he rule was an addition to or e7tension of the law, not merely a mode of carrying it into effect. )he *ivil ervice *ommission has no power to supply perceived omissions in ,.+. 1186. &s a matter of fact, Ce have liberally applied ection 11 par. !b" of ,.+. 1186 in two !5" recent cases where Ce allowed two employees in the 4udiciary who have reached the age of 65 to continue in the government service to complete the 15-year service requirement to be entitled to the benefits under ,.+. 1186. %n a resolution dated 4anuary 53, 1999 in &.M. -o. .'-'-1359-M)*, Ce allowed Mrs. 1lorentina 4. 6ocade, *ler2 of *ourt, Municipal )rial *ourt, +agami, /eyte, who at the time she reached the age of 65 years on 0ctober 16, 19.' had only 19 years of government service, to continue her services until 0ctober 19, 1995. )hus, she was given a period of 5 years, to complete the 15-year service requirement to be entitled to the retirement benefits under ection 11 par. !b" of ,.+. 1186. )he *ourt observed that Mrs. 6ocade is still performing her duties without any adverse complaints from her superior and that she is physically fit for wor2 per report of the Medical *linic. )he *ourt, in a resolution dated &pril 1., 1991, in &.M. -o. 91-3-993- *.-#e; #equest for the e7tension of service of Mrs. *risanta ). )iangco, allowed Mrs. *risanta ). )iangco, 6udget 0fficer ?, 6udget +ivision, 1iscal Management and 6udget 0ffice of the upreme *ourt to continue her services until 1ebruary 19, 1995. he was granted a period of 3 years, 19 months and 13 days because she has to her credit only 11 years, 1 month and 1' days of government service at the time she reached the age of 65 years on March 59, 1991 in order that she be entitled to the retirement benefits under ,.+. -o. 1186. %t is erroneous to apply to petitioner *ena who has rendered 11 years, 9 months and 6 days of government service, ection 15, par. !b" of ,.+. 1186 which provides that =a member who has rendered at least three !3" years but less than 15 years of service at the time of separation shall, . . . upon separation after age si7ty, receive a cash equivalent to 199H of his average monthly compensation for every year of service.= )he applicable law should be ection 11 par. !b" of ,.+. 1186 which allows him to e7tend his 11 years, 9 months and 6 days to complete the 15-year of service consistent with the beneficial intendment of ,.+. 1186 and which right is sub>ect to the discretion of the government office concerned. ection 15 par. !b" of ,.+. 1186 does not apply to the case of herein *ena, because he opted to continue in the service to complete the 15-year service requirement pursuant to ection 11 par. !b" of ,.+. 1186. )he completion of the 15-year service requirement under ection 11 par. !b" parta2es the nature of a privilege given to an employee who has reached the compulsory retirement age of 65 years, but has less than 15 years of service. %f said employee opted to avail of said privilege, he is entitled to the benefits of the old-age pension. 0n the other hand, if the said employee opted to retire upon reaching the compulsory retirement age of 65 years although he has less than 15 years of service, he is entitled to the benefits provided for under ection 15 of ,.+. 1186 i.e. a cash equivalent to 199H of his average monthly compensation for every year of service. )he right under ection 11, par. !b" is open to all employees similarly situated, so it does not offend the constitutional guarantee of equal protection of the law. )here is nothing absurd or inequitable in rewarding an employee for completion of the 15-year service beyond the retirement age. %f he would be better off than the one who has served for 18 years but who is separated from the service at the age of 68, it would be only >ust and proper as he would have wor2ed for the whole period of 15 years as required by law for entitlement of the old-age pension. %ndeed, a longer service should merit a greater reward. 6esides, his entitlement to the old-age pension is conditioned upon such completion. )hus, if the service is not completed due to death or incapacity, he would be entitled to the benefit under ection 15, par. !b", i.e. cash equivalent to 199H of his average monthly compensation for every year of service.

1inally, in view of the aforesaid right accorded under ection 11, par. !b" of ,.+. 1186, petitioner *ena should not be covered by Memorandum *ircular -o. 65 issued by then @7ecutive ecretary *atalino Macaraig on 4une 18, 19... Memorandum *ircular -o. 65 allowing retention of service for only si7 !6" months for =e7tremely meritorious reasons= should apply only to employees or officials who have reached the compulsory retirement age of 65 years but who, at the same time, have completed the 15-year service requirement for retirement purposes. %t should not apply to employees or officials who have reached the compulsory retirement age of 65 years, but who opted to avail of the old-age pension under par. !b", ection 11 of ,.+. 1186, in which case, they are allowed, at the discretion of the agency concerned, to complete the 15-year service requirement. &**0#+%-$/I, the petition is granted. )he /and #egistration &uthority !/#&" of the +epartment of 4ustice has the discretion to allow petitioner $audencio *ena to e7tend his 11 years, 9 months and 6 days of government service to complete the 15-year service so that he may retire with full benefits under ection 11 par. !b" of ,.+. 1186. 0 0#+@#@+. %ar!asa$ C.&.$ 'utierre($ &r.$ Cru($ Paras$ Feliciano$ )idin$ *egalado$ +a!ide$ &r.$ %ocon and )ellosillo$ &&.$ concur.