DTI chief conducts inquiry on PEZA employee complaints, orders OIC to explain

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Photo from Alfredo Pascual's Facebook page

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 8) — Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfred Pascual said he will conduct an inquiry on complaints made by some employees of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) regarding violations of civil service rules.

During his confirmation hearing at the Commission on Appointments, Pascual was questioned by a lawmaker about a controversy involving PEZA officer-in-charge Director General Tereso Panga.

Panga allegedly fired a number of contractual workers, placed some permanent workers on floating status, and demoted long-time agency employees.

In a statement from Pascual’s office, the secretary asked Panga “to submit a written explanation on the complaint by PEZA employees.”

“Further, the Secretary will conduct an inquiry into the complaint,” it also said.

Pascual, as PEZA Board chairman, denied any knowledge of the employees' complaints, claiming that he only learned about them the night before the hearing, when the CA Secretariat provided him a copy of the accusations.

“The Board is mainly concerned with general policies on establishing and maintaining economic zones. The Board chair is not directly involved in PEZA’s day-to-day operations, such as human resource management,” the statement said.

The CA earlier suspended its hearing on Pascual's ad interim appointment after running out of time to discuss his qualifications for the post.

CNN Philippines has reached out to Panga's camp but has yet to receive a reply as of posting.