OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY
Atty. Crisanta V. Valera heads the Office of the Secretary in an acting capacity. She is, together with the Deputy Secretary of the Tribunal, under Rule 12 of the 2013 Rules of the Senate Electoral Tribunal, required to discharge the following duties:
Under the supervision of the Chairperson, perform the following duties:
a. Attend sessions or meetings of the Tribunal and, whenever necessary, of its Divisions or Committees, and keep the minutes thereof;
b. Receive all pleadings and other documents properly presented, indicating on each such document the date and time of its filing;
c. Keep a judicial docket wherein shall be entered in chronological order the cases brought before the Tribunal and the proceedings had therein;
d. Prepare the calendar of cases;
e. Certify under the seal of the Tribunal all decisions, resolutions, orders and notices of the Tribunal;
f. Implement the decisions, resolutions, orders and processes issued by the Tribunal;
g. Keep a judgment book containing a copy of each decision and final resolution or order rendered by the Tribunal in the order of their dates, and a Book of Entries of Judgment containing in chronological order entries of the dispositive portions of all decisions and final resolutions or orders of the Tribunal;
h. Keep an account of the funds set aside for the expenses of the Tribunal as well as the funds received and disbursed relative to the cases;
i. Oversee the performance of the line and support, adjudicatory and administrative functions of the various Service Groups of the Administrative Staff, particularly the keeping and securing of all ballot boxes, election documents, papers, files of exhibits, the office seal and other property of the Tribunal; and
j. Maintain such other records and perform such other duties as prescribed by law for clerks of superior courts or as the Tribunal or the Chairperson may direct.
The Deputy Secretary shall assist the Secretary of the Tribunal, act as Secretary in the latter’s absence, and perform such duties and functions as may be assigned by the Chairperson or by the Secretary.
Rule 11 of the 2013 SET Rules states: Unless the Tribunal provides otherwise, the administrative staff of the Tribunal shall function in eight (8) service groups, namely:
CANVASS BOARD SERVICE
The Canvass Board Service (CBS) under the supervision of Atty. Lamberto B. Delleva, Officer-In-Charge, is charged with the collection, safekeeping and return of the ballot boxes, election documents and other election paraphernalia as well as the supervision of the Revision proceedings.
After an election protest has been given due course, the CBS obtains from the Commission on Elections a list of the precincts that functioned during the last election. The CBS then prepares a tally of the contested and counter-protested precincts to determine the total number of contested precincts as well as the number of pilot precincts. Based thereon, the CBS prepares as many copies of the so-called “preservation order” as well as the corresponding envelopes, registry receipts and registry return cards and mails them to the respective addressees.
The “preservation order” is the resolution issued by the Tribunal requiring the Election Officers, Municipal/City Treasurers, Provincial Treasurers, Provincial Election Supervisors, Provincial/City Prosecutors and other custodians of the ballots, election documents and election paraphernalia to preserve the integrity of all ballot boxes and their keys, election documents and other materials under their custody until further orders of the Tribunal. The Service Group likewise monitors compliance with the resolutions.
As soon as the parties in an election protest designate their pilot precincts, the CBS starts preparations for the collection of the ballot boxes and election documents and paraphernalia from the pilot precincts. In this connection, the CBS undertakes the following preparatory tasks: (a) Prepares estimates of expenses for the collection of ballot boxes and election documents and secures the conformity of the party concerned; (b) Notifies the Election Officers, Provincial/City Prosecutors, Municipal/City Treasurers of the collection schedule; (c) Prepares and serves request for Philippine National Police (PNP) escorts; (d) Conducts the pre-collection briefing; (e) Prepares itinerary of travel and mission orders; and (f) Coordinates with representatives of the parties.
The CBS monitors the collection activity. Upon arrival of the ballot boxes and election documents at the Secretariat Offices, the CBS conducts the inventory and stores the collected ballot boxes and election documents in properly secured ballot box and election document storage rooms/warehouses. The storage rooms/warehouses are equipped with triple locks, the respective keys of which are in the custody of three (3) officials of the Tribunal.
The CBS likewise coordinates with the PNP for a 24-hour security watch of the ballot boxes and election documents.
The Collection Team, in the meantime, prepares its liquidation report relative to the expenses incurred during the collection operations, coordinates with the COA Resident Auditor and prepares justification for some unexpected expenses. The CBS undertakes the same activities for the collection of the non-pilot precincts.
For Revision Proceedings, the CBS undertakes the following tasks/activities:
a. Prepares separate letter-requests and secures from Comelec the Project of Precincts and Statement of Votes by Precinct of the contested areas and other related documents.
b. Prepares estimates of expenses for the Revision of the Ballots from the contested precinct; and recommends that additional cash deposits be made by the parties.
c. Prepares materials for the training of the Head Revisors; Conducts the Head Revisors’ training, including mock revision; Evaluates the results of the mock revision and recommends the hiring of Head Revisors and Alternate Head Revisors;
d. Conducts Pre-Revision conference with parties to discuss house rules.
e. Supervises the conduct of Revision Proceedings to ensure compliance with the rules and procedures.
f. Conducts daily meetings with the Head Revisors and Alternate Head Revisors and asesses their performance; Prepares HR salary reports and formulates guidelines for Head Revisors’ compensation.
g. Prepares reports on status of Revision Proceedings and Revision Results, i.e. wet ballots, fake ballots, empty ballot boxes, etc.
h. Simultaneously with the Revision Proceedings, CBS personnel post the votes of th parties as appearing on the Statement of Votes by Precinct and their votes listed in the Municipal Certificate of Canvass. After the Revision, the CBS tallies the parties’ votes based on the physical count after Revision and their votes as appearing in the various election documents such as the Tally Board and Election Returns (Statements of Votes by Precinct, Municipal or City Certificates of Canvass, Statements of Votes by Municipality, Provincial Certificates of Canvass and the Regional and National Tally of Votes).
i. Recommends the deferment or suspension of Revision Proceedings, if necessary.
j. Ensures completeness of the Revision Reports and takes charge of reproducing the same for use in the Preliminary Appreciation of Ballots.
In addition to its regular functions, CBS also prepared Volumes I and II of Election Case Digests, which now forms part of the Tribunal’s knowledge tools. Moreover, CBS headed the overhaul of its Rules on Revision of Ballots.
Legal Service (LS), under the supervision of Atty. James G. Allanigue, Officer-In-Charge, is depended on by the Tribunal, the Office of the Secretary and the rest of the Service Groups to provide studies and legal opinions on various matters referred to it.
The Service Group is responsible for the preparation of Draft Resolutions and Draft Decisions for the Tribunal. It is likewise given the responsibility to hear and receive evidence from the parties. The service group likewise provides transcript of Stenographic Notes (TSNs) during reception of evidence and meetings of Tribunal Committees.
One of its major role is to supervise the conduct of preliminary appreciation of ballots and election documents. During preliminary appreciation, all ballots objected to or claimed by the parties are ruled by the Preliminary Appreciation Committees and the results thereof are forwarded to the Tribunal for its consideration. The Tribunal may, at its option, adopt the findings of the preliminary appreciation, conduct its own appreciation or randomly appreciate ballots and election documents to test the veracity of the preliminary appreciation results.
When there is no pending case, LS is aggressive in preparing research works such as but not limited to the following: HRET Reports Quick Index Volumes I and II, Research on Two-Party and Multi-Party Automated Election System; A Research on PCOS, Touchscreen and Hybrid Systems, and History of Philippine Elections. In addition, LS spearheads the Revision of Rules of the Senate Electoral Tribunal.
INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS AND JUDICIAL RECORDS MANAGEMENT SERVICE
Atty. James G. Allanigue, Officer-In-Charge of Legal Service, concurrently supervises the Information and Communications Systems and Judicial Records Management Service (ICSJRMS).
ICSJRMS is divided into two (2) units, i.e., (a) Information and Communications Systems (ICS), and (b) Judicial Records Management (JRM).
ICS is primarily responsible for the planning of ICT interventions to promote and support the mandate of the institution. The development, operation and maintenance of the Tribunal’s network infrastructure is also within its mandate. Aside from those mentioned, ICS is responsible for the flow of data within its network and the concomitant security required to protect said data. To achieve all of the aforementioned, ICS is likewise committed to provide technical support to all service group concerned.
On the other hand, the Judicial Records Management Section will implement the Rollo module of the Automated Records Management System (ARMS) at the soonest. It will continue to digitize pleadings and other official documents to keep ARMS up to date. Moreover, it will continue to receive pleadings and other submissions from the parties and will continue to serve as the official custodian of all judicial records.
PROCUREMENT AND PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SERVICE
Atty. Fe G. Gonzaga, Director III, heads the Procurement and Property Management Service (PPMS). PPMS has broad responsibilities, which it efficiently discharges, through its three (3) sections: namely: 1) Procurement Section, 2) Property and Supply Management Section, and, 3) Maintenance and General Services Section.
The Procurement Section attends to the regular and emergency purchases of the Tribunal in accordance with COA rules and regulations.
Relative to the regular purchases of the Tribunal, the Procurement Section canvasses the estimated cost of requisitioned items covered by purchase requests, secures from various suppliers price quotations as well as certificates of exclusive distributorship. It negotiates item specifications, prices, delivery and payment terms with suppliers and further renegotiated items specifications, prices, delivery and payment terms of quotations. It prepared abstracts of canvass.
It regularly assists the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) during its meetings by coordinating with its members, preparing summaries of abstracts of bids for consideration thereof, securing various documents from new suppliers and recording the proceedings and preparing the minutes of the meetings. On the basis of the BAC’s awards, the Section prepares, processes and serves approved purchase orders. In addition, it prepares Agency Procurement Requests for items to be purchased from the Procurement Service and requests for voucher preparations for COD purchases and purchases on credit. For items to be purchased on cash-on- delivery basis, the Section coordinated with the Cash Management Service for the release of the checks covering such purchases.
With respect to emergency purchases, the Section receives certificates of emergency purchases, conducts telephone canvasses for the prices of the items requested, negotiates item specifications, prices, delivery and payment terms of the requisitioned items and evaluated the same to identify the supplier with the best offer.
The Property and Supply Management Section received Supplies Availability Inquiries, prepared Requisition and Issue Slips for items that are not on stock and prepared certificates of emergency purchase. It processes clearances and updates property cards through postings.
It prepares Monthly Summaries of Inspection and Acceptance Reports and prepares and reconciles with Accounting Service the Monthly Summaries of Supplies and Materials Issued.
The PSMS to reconciles the Semi-Expendables inventory list as of 31 December of the current year with Accounting Service, to prepare reconciliation summary including the reclassification of all items to Property Plant and Equipment, Supplies or Expense accounts and to prepare a reconciled Property Plant and Equipment and Supplies Inventory Lists as of 31 December of the current year.
Furthermore, the PSMS completes the physical count of inventories as of 31 December of the current year. It prepared reports on the result of the physical count of supplies and property, plant and equipment and reconciled the same with Accounting Service. It conducts investigations on missing items, additional counts for items found and established accountability for items that are not located.
The Maintenance and General Services Section conducted monthly inspections of the SET buildings and grounds, prepares and processes Job Service Requests including those pertaining to the repair of furniture, prepares Purchase Requests, assists in the purchase of required building supplies and materials and performed all necessary repair works.
The Section monitors and validates MWSI and MERALCO billings. Using as basis the monitored electrical consumption proportionately shouldered by the Senate Electoral Tribunal and the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal.
FINANCE MANAGEMENT SERVICE
The Finance Management Service (FMS), under the supervision of Officer-In-Charge Eliza V. Amparo, is responsible for Tribunal budget preparation, execution and control; maintenance of the registries of appropriations and allotment; disbursement processing; preparation of financial reports; and other related functions.
a. Budget Preparation
Preparation of the following year’s budget starts as early as the 4th quarter of the previous year during the annual SET Management Committee Planning Session. In compliance with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Annual Budget Preparation Calendar, FMS submits on schedule to the DBM the Tribunal’s Past Year’s Actual Obligations and the Current Year Appropriations. The Budget Proposal is finalized after the Tribunal receives DBM’s Budget Ceiling and Budget Priorities Framework. The Budget Proposal is then presented to the Chairperson of the Tribunal for approval and thereafter submitted online to DBM. The printed version of the online-submitted Budget Proposal is also presented to DBM in five copies.
b. Budget Execution and Control
FMS regularly analyzes the budget and the cash requirements of the Tribunal to ensure that sufficient funds are available to meet operational needs. Thus, FMS handles the request for additional SARO or Notice of Cash Allocation (NCA), whenever necessary and coordinates with the DBM for the timely release of the NCAs, whether for the current budget, continuing appropriation, Accounts Payable or others.
FMS ensures that budget is available for proposed disbursements as well as those covered by Purchase Requests, Requisition and Issue Slips and Supply Availability Inquiries, Petty Cash Vouchers and Terminal Leave Applications before these expenditures are incurred. Charges against the Fiduciary Funds or deposits made by parties to electoral contests are also controlled to make certain that disbursements do not exceed the deposits.
c. Maintenance of Registries
Obligation Request and Status (ORS) are raised by FMS to set up appropriations and record obligations in the Registries. FMS maintains daily the Registry of Appropriations and Allotments for Personal Services (PS), Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) and Capital Outlay (CO) for Current Year Budget, as well as MOOE for Continuing Appropriations for a total of at least 58 active accounts. Financial records are also maintained for each Fiduciary Fund deposit of parties to an electoral contest.
d. Disbursement Processing
FMS, after ensuring the completeness and legality of supporting document of proposed disbursements, prepares the disbursement vouchers for all types of Tribunal expenses, such as salaries, allowances and benefits to officials and employees, allowances of Members, payments to suppliers, lessors and other contractors, and remittances to Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and other government agencies.
FMS is also for payroll processing. Payroll schedules are prepared covering salaries, allowances and benefits of Tribunal officials and employees (as well as the salaries of Head and Alternate Head Revisors, whenever necessary). FMS issues financial accountability clearances to personnel, and financial certifications and pay slips, as needed, for GSIS Loans, Pag-Ibig Loans and other legal purposes. The Service ensures that disbursements are in order and are processed on time.
e. Financial Reports
In addition to Budget Proposal prepared annually, FMS submits to DBM quarterly the Statement of Appropriations, Allotments, Obligations, Disbursements and Balances (FAR No.1), Summary of Appropriations, Allotments, Obligations, Disbursements and Balances by Object of Expenditures (FAR No.1-A), and List of Allotments and Sub-Allotments (FAR No.1-B). The same reports are furnished COA, aside from the Statement of Comparison of Budget and Actual Amount (Annex-E). Before the end of the 4th quarter, FMS submits to DBM the Budget Execution Disbursement Reports for the coming year: Financial Plan (BED No. 1), and Monthly Cash Program (BED No. 3).
FMS seeks to be prompt in the submission of the Monthly Electronic Remittance Report to the GSIS, Monthly Report of Contribution and Report of Employee-Member (Er 2) to the PhilHealth, and Monthly Report of Contribution and Loan payment to the HDMF.
f. Cash Management
The Cash Management, under the FMS, manages the vigilant disbursement of the Tribunal funds by strictly implementing the control measures formulated for this purpose. It likewise ensures the timely payment of the Tribunal’s various obligations as well as the timely release of salaries and benefits to the employees. In the process, the CMS prepares checks covered by Advice of Checks Issued and Cancelled (ACIC).
The CMS further manages the petty cash fund for emergency and minor purchases of the Tribunal. It pays out and liquidates petty cash vouchers, and replenishes the petty cash fund.
For its reportorial compliance, the CMS prepares and submits Reports on Checks Issued (RCI) pertaining to the General Fund, Accounts Payable and Fiduciary Fund; Reports on Unclaimed Checks; Reports on Cash Disbursements; Reports on Collections and Deposits; Reports on Accountable Forms; and Reports on Disbursements of Regular Disbursing Officer. The CMS also processes clearances of employees.
The Accounting Service (AS) under the supervision of Ms. Angelina L. Gabat, Officer-in-Charge, is responsible for the preparation of financial reports for submission to fiscal agencies of the government (Commission On Audit, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Department of Budget and Management, Bureau of Treasury etc.) and the Tribunal. The financial reports are composed of the Trial Balance, Statement of Financial Position, Statement of Financial Performance, Statement of Cash Flow, Statement of Changes in Net Assets/Equity, Report of Disbursements, Tax Remittance Advice together with all the supporting documents/schedules. Likewise, AS prepares BIR Annual Information Returns and Alphalists of Payees, Certificates of Compensation Payment/Tax Withheld (BIR Form 2316), Certificate of Creditable Tax Withheld at Source (BIR Form 2307) and Certificate of Final Tax Withheld at Source (BIR Form 2306).
Maintenance of books of accounts of the agency is another responsibility of the Accounting Service. It records transactions in the corresponding Journal Entry Vouchers then summarizes and posts them to the General Ledger as well as to the Subsidiary Ledgers. It likewise performs pre-audit functions such as certification of the correctness, completeness of supporting documents of all transactions involving the utilization of government and fiduciary funds; verification of account codes and expense object classification in the Obligation Slips as well as certification as to availability of funds.
It maintains an accurate count of the Tribunal’s properties, equipment and supplies; processes Supplies Availability Inquiry, and re-canvasses the prices of supplies and equipment reflected in the Abstract of Canvass and Service requests. Likewise, it verifies and reconciles the monthly Summary of inspection and Acceptance Reports of the Procurement and Property Management Service as well as inspects and indicates the account codes on Inspection and Acceptance Reports. Moreover, it computes the annual depreciation of Property Plant and Equipment.
In addition, Accounting Service prepares quarterly Financial Accountability Report No. 4 and Disbursement portion of Annex A and B (Statement of Appropriations, Allotments, Obligations, Disbursement and Balances) for submission to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).