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YADAO-GUNO, Carmelita P.

Re: Tardiness; Undertime


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RESOLUTION NO. 000970

Atty. Carmelita P. Yadao-Guno, University General Counsel, University of the Philippines (UP), requests a ruling on
the proper application of the Civil Service Law, rules and regulations relative to habitual tardiness, undertime, and one half-
day absence.

The request of Atty. Yadao-Guno reads, in part, as follows:

"Thus, we would lik e to be clarified whether or not the following situations would constitute habitual
tardiness, assuming that they are committed ten (10) times a month for at least two (2) consecutive months
during the year or at least two (2) months in a semester and assuming further that the designated and
approved work schedule is from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (8:00 a.m. to 12:00 nn – 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.):

"1. Reporting for work from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 nn but reporting back late in the afternoon, i.e. after
1:00 p.m.

"2. Not reporting for work in the morning but reporting for work late in the afternoon, i.e. after 1:00
p.m.

"May we be further clarified if the filing of the appropriate leave form for an employee’s absence in the
morning is allowed and relevant for purposes of counting the number of times he is considered tardy when he
comes in late in the afternoon?

"In consideration of CSC Memorandum Circular No. 34 series of 1998, please furnish me relevant
information as to the particular situations covered by the ‘undertime’ provision. Kindly advise us also whether
or not there is an administrative liability attached to being on ‘undertime’ and if so, under what legal provision."

The present request emanates from the interpretation of Section 8, Rule XVIII of the Omnibus Rules
Implementing Title, I, Subtitle A, Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987, as amended, which provides that:

"SEC. 8. Officers and employees who have incurred tardiness and undertime, regardless of the
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number of minutes per day, ten (10) times a month for at least two (2) consecutive months during the year or
at least two (2) months in a semester shall be subject to disciplinary action."

From the aforecited rule, it is explicit that an officer or employee who incurs tardiness and undertime, under certain
conditions mentioned therein, may be subjected to disciplinary sanctions. Apparently, however, there is no law or rule that
specifically imposes disciplinary sanctions to those who incur undertime. Hence, the present request for a ruling.

Said Section 8, should be read together with Section 5, Rule XVII of the same Omnibus Rules which provides as
follows:

"SEC. 5. Officers and employees of all departments and agencies except those covered by special
laws shall render not less than eight hours of work a day for five days a week or a total of forty hours a week ,
exclusive of time for lunch. As a general rule, such hours shall be from eight o’clock in the morning to twelve
o’clock noon and from one o’clock to five o’clock in the afternoon on all days except Saturdays, Sundays and
Holidays."

The foregoing provision is clear. A working day, as a general rule, is divided into two parts: one, in the morning
where work is supposed to commence at 8:00 and ends at 12:00 noon; and the other, in the afternoon where work is
supposed to start at 1:00 and ends at 5:00.

Tardiness is defined simply as the failure to arrive at a time set; lack of punctuality or not arriving on time. This
definition inevitably implies that an officer or employee may, in one working day, incur tardiness twice--one in the morning
and another in the afternoon. Hence, in just five days, it is possible for said officer or employee to be tardy ten (10) times.

Pointedly, a half-day absence is incurred when an officer or employee does not report for work either for the whole
morning or the whole afternoon. Consequently, an officer or employee may incur a half-day absence only once in a working
day. Otherwise, he would be considered absent for the whole day. And in such case, said officer or employee must file an
application for either vacation or sick leave pursuant to Sections 51 and 53, Rule XVI of the Omnibus Rules
Implementing Title I, Subtitle A, Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 which provides as follows:

"Sec. 51. Application for vacation leave. - All applications for vacation leave of absence for one (1) full
day or more shall be submitted on the prescribed form for action by the proper head of agency five (5) days in
advance, whenever possible, of the effective date of such leave.

xxx

"Sec. 53. Application for sick leave. - All applications for sick leave of absence for one full day or
more shall be made on the prescribed form and shall be filed immediately upon employee’s return from such
leave. . . "
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Pursuant to the aforecited rules, only when an officer or employee incurs at least one full day of absence is he
required to file an application for either vacation or sick leave, as the case may be. Hence, if said officer or employee is
absent for only one-half day, he is not required to file an application for leave. Nonetheless, an officer or employee who incurs
a half-day absence will not be considered tardy for that particular working day.

On the other hand, undertime is defined as working time that is less than the full time or the required minimum. This
is usually incurred by an officer or an employee who leaves and quits from work earlier than the usual eight-hour work
schedule in a given work day. This being so, one who incurs an undertime cannot be considered to be tardy.

While it is true that there is no law or rule specifically penalizing an officer or an employee for incurring an
undertime, this does not mean, however, that he will be entirely free from the administrative sanctions. Surely, an officer or
an employee who incurs an undertime will not be rendering service for the full regular eight hours in a given working day. As
such, his performance would be less than desirable for which he may be dropped from the rolls of the employees pursuant to
Section 2, Rule XII of the Revised Omnibus Rules on Appointments and Other Personnel Actions, as amended,
which provides as follows:

"Sec. 2. Dropping from the Rolls. Officers and employees who are either habitually absent or have
unsatisfactory or poor performance or have shown to be physically and mentally unfit to perform their duties
may be dropped from the rolls. . . "

It is to be stressed, however, that the period within which an officer or employee is tardy, absent for one-half day, or
undertime shall definitely be deducted from the leave credits of said officer or employee. Such tardiness, half-day absence
and undertime shall, likewise, be given due consideration in rating the performance of said officer or employee.

Corollarily, should a government agency or office adopt the flexible working time, then an employee who reports for
work late, must off-set the same with the corresponding length of time he was late before leaving the office. Should said
employee fail to offset the length of time he was late in reporting for work, then he may be considered to have incurred
tardiness.

The foregoing situation is premised on the condition, however, that said employee reported for work after the regular
working hours but before the core hours set by the head of agency. Core hours refers to that period of time adopted by the
head of agency, during Mondays to Fridays, during which an employee is required to be in the office. An employee who
reports after the start of the core working hours shall be considered tardy. In the same manner, an employee who leaves
before the end of the core hours shall be considered on undertime and such period of time shall be accordingly deducted
from the employee’s leave credits.

To illustrate, should the head of agency adopt 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. as its cores hours, then the employees of the
agency are required to be in the office within such period of time. If an employee reports for work; say at 8:20 a.m., then he
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must render service up to 5:20 p.m. so that he would not be considered tardy for that particular day. However, should an
employee report for work after 9:30 a.m., then he shall be considered tardy as he is barred from off-setting his tardiness. On
the other hand, should he leave the office before 4:00 p.m., he shall be considered on undertime and the period time he is
considered on undertime shall be deducted from his leave credits.

WHEREFORE, the Commission hereby rules that an officer or employee may be twice tardy in a given working day.
However, one-half day absence or undertime shall not be considered as tardiness. The period that an officer or employee is
tardy, absent for one-half day, or undertime shall be deducted from the leave credits of said officer or employee.

Quezon City, APR 07 2000

(SGD.)
CORAZON ALMA G. DE LEON
Chairman

(SGD.)
JOSE F. ERESTAIN, JR.
Commissioner

Attested by:

(SGD.)
ARIEL G. RONQUILLO
Director III

JJC/FPG/MVM/S13/#5/vog
yadao
D 99-0700

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