G.R. No. 228236, January 27, 2021.
Panga-Vega, then Secretary of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET), requested authority to avail of the 15 days of special leave benefit under Republic Act (RA) No. 9710, otherwise known as the Magna Carta of Women to undergo hysterectomy. The HRET approved Panga-Vega’s request for special leave for a period not exceeding two months starting February 7, 2011. After a month of availing of the special leave, Panga Vega informed the HRET Chairperson that she was reassuring her duties and functions. She also presented a medical certificate that she was already “fit to work”. The HRET directed Panga-Vega to consume her 2-month special leave given her need for prolonged rest following her hysterectomy, and in view of a pending investigation on her alleged alteration or tampering one minute of the meeting that could subject her to more stress. She sought reconsideration of this HRET Resolution but was denied pointing out the confusion and doubts regarding her true medical condition as caused by her medical certificates.
The CSC ruled that she only needed to present a medical certificate attesting her physical fitness to return to work and need not exhaust the full leave she applied for under RA No. 9710. It was further held that applying the rules on maternity leave, she is entitled to both the commuted money value of the unexpired portion of the special leave and her salary for actual services rendered effective the day she reported back for work.