With the UP System's call for 2019 Merit Promotions for Research, Extension, and Professional Staff (REPS), UPLB intensified the welfare initiatives for our REPS.
UPLB facilitated the issuance of UPLB promotion guidelines, conducted a series of meeting among members of the REPS Welfare Council (RWC) and REPS Personnel and Fellowship Committee (RPFC), and held a forum among unit Academic Personnel Committees (APCs) last August 13.
During the forum, Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension Dr. Rex B. Demafelis; Assistant to the Vice Chancellor Mr. Glenn S. Lubuguin; and UPLB representatives to the UP System REPS Welfare Council Ms. Fides Z. Tambalo and Dr. Elenita L. Racelis clarified the nature and provisions of the 2019 promotions, as well as the evaluation process necessary to endorse qualified REPS.
The 2019 Merit Promotion provides for the annual promotion of 5 percent of REPS from 2014 to 2018 to at most two salary grade steps based on the joint 2012 Civil Service Commission-Department of Budget and Management (CSC-DBM) circular.
The panel also addressed specific inquiries and concerns of the participants and clarified that the units’ APCs are expected to submit their recommendations to the RPFC on 28 August, after which the RPFC will evaluate and rank the top 5 percent of all UPLB REPS per year and endorse them for promotion to the Office of the Chancellor and subsequently to the UP System.
In his opening message, UPLB Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez Jr. acknowledged that the REPS merit promotion is a "positive development" since the promotion of 5 percent of REPS is now expected to be an annual REPS development activity following the CSC-DBM circular. Yet, he recognized its limitations and the general sentiment of REPS.
"I'm very aware of sentiments that the incentives provided in this promotion is not commensurate to our REPS' efforts and contributions to the university,” Chancellor Sanchez said.
He also explained that while the REPS promotion is a matter beyond UP, there are welfare initiatives that have been and can be further pursued at the UPLB level.
On a positive note, Chancellor Sanchez acknowledged efforts of UPLB REPS leaders and cited UPLB accomplishments for REPS welfare including the constitution of the RWC and RPFC in 2019, the endorsement of the proposal for REPS Sabbatical Leave to the UP System, and his allocation of 5.5M as UPLB counterpart allocation for the REPS Development Fund (RDF).
Furthermore, the recent constitution of the UPLB Agency Screening Committee (ASC) to operationalize the DOST implementing guidelines for the Magna Carta for Science and Technology Personnel in Government is expected to facilitate the certification of UPLB REPS and other qualified personnel so that they may avail of the incentives under the law.
Still, Dr. Sanchez emphasized the need to further supplement the promotion schemes for REPS and continue to push for broader REPS’ wellbeing.
He reiterated the need to expedite the drafting of the proposal for Wellness Incentive Leave for REPS who may not qualify for sabbatical leave; the proposal for REPS’ representations in relevant university decision-making bodies; and pursue necessary steps to lobby for REPS open career items to resolve the persistent problems in vertical promotions and professional mobility of REPS.