FORMER public school teacher Nelita A. Gador spent her last year in government service doing her job – she taught her high school class without receiving a single centavo of the salaries due her.
After a three-year wait, she can finally enjoy the fruits of her labor.
In a decision dated October 30, 2019, the Commission on Audit (COA) granted her petition for money claim and ordered the Department of Education (DepEd) to pay Gador P288,511.35 representing her net salaries for January to December 2016 plus bonuses, allowances and other incentives that she did not receive in her last year as a teacher.
The problem was traced to a clerical error in her birth certificate which listed the retired teacher as being born on January 3, 1951 when the correct date should have been December 31, 1951.
Gador was notified in January 2016 that she had already reached compulsory retirement age of 65 based on her personnel records with DepEd-Region 11, Division of Davao del Sur.
The DepEd notice advised her to sort out her clearances and other documentary requirements for the processing of her retirement.
“She was considered retired from government service effective January 13, 2016 considering that no notice of any request for extension of service or request for correction of personal information with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) was filed. Hence, Ms. Gador was excluded from the school’s budget for CY 2016,” the COA noted.
Despite this, the teacher continued reporting for work after informing the Schools Division Superintendent that she had already filed a petition for correction of clerical error with the Local Civil Registry Office in Digos City.
Just 30 days before her 65th birthday, the Municipal Civil Registrar of Ronda, Cebu issued a certification that her date of birth has been corrected to reflect December 31, 1951. This was affirmed by the Civil Registrar General on November 10, 2016.
On May 31, 2017, the CSC finally approved Gador’s request for correction of her date of birth in her records as a government employee.
With all the paper works complete, she filed her petition for compensation backed by a certification from the Alberto Olarte National High School confirming that she was not paid salaries and benefits for 2016.
The Schools Division Superintendent, the DepEd-Davao del Sur audit team leader, and the COA Region 11 regional director endorsed her claim for payment.
COA chairman Michael G. Aguinaldo and Commissioners Jose A. Fabia and Roland C. Pondoc held that Gador is entitled to compensation for services rendered even if she was considered mandatorily retired from government service in her last year of teaching.
“Her act of continued discharge of duties from January 1 to December 31, 2016 was acquiesced by the DepEd. Accordingly, Ms. Gador is entitled to the corresponding salary and benefits due her under the principle of quantum meruit,” the Commission said.