Statement of the University Administration on the Implementation of the Biometric Finger Scanning System

Posted February 20, 2019 by Office of The University President

On 18 February 2019, the Implementing Guidelines on the Observance of Working Hours and the Use of the Biometric Finger Scanner by the Faculty Members of the Bulacan State University came into effect.

Every employee of this University has a sworn duty to report for work on such days and at such time designated in his or her terms of employment, while the University has the inherent right to demand that such duty be faithfully performed.

As in any work environment, the University, as employer, is clothed with the exclusive authority to prescribe the appropriate methods by which the attendance of its employees is recorded accurately.

Since 2014, the University has adopted the biometrics system as the identified mechanism for monitoring the attendance of all rank and file employees. This has been the mechanism in use when the University and the Faculty Union (FAU), represented by its president, Prof. Jessica M. Chozas, and six (6) members of the FAU negotiating panel, concluded the Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) on 07 September 2018. The pertinent portion of the CNA reads as follows:



The regular workload of the academic rank and file employees shall be 18 units actual teaching per week and 22 hours of teacher related functions such as consultation, research, extension, committee work, etc. by virtue of CSC Resolution No. 080096, subject to an identified mechanism for proper monitoring and checking.” (Underscoring supplied)

The FAU leadership is fully aware that the Commission on Audit (COA), being the constitutionally mandated agency to oversee the expenditure and management of public funds, has repeatedly advised the University to use the biometrics system and put a stop to the practice of manually accomplishing Daily Time Records (DTRs), under threat of COA delving into the past attendance records of the faculty members and withholding their salaries. It behooves the FAU leadership to disclose to its members these COA notices in their possession and to apprise them of all possible legal consequences of their refusal to use the system.

The University emphasizes that automation neither deprives the faculty members of any vested right nor imposes new obligations upon them. It merely simplifies the input of data that a faculty member is supposed to provide in any case.

It has been proven that the biometrics system plays a vital role in the University’s overall operational efficiency. Nevertheless, the University shall remain open to, and in fact encourages, suggestions on how to further improve the efficacy of the system. Even the most advanced technological systems encounter glitches from time to time and the biometrics system is no exception. However, measures are in place to ensure that the system is performing according to the purposes it was designed for. Additional finger scanner terminals were likewise deployed to strategic locations inside the campus. Also, all colleges are on standby to offer assistance to users and to document any problem that they may encounter when using the system.

Public office is a public trust. The faculty members of this University are public officers performing a duty imbued with public interest and are expected to perform their functions with utmost loyalty, integrity, and competence. It is hoped that the entire BulSU community remains united in its commitment to the promotion of transparency in government service.