Issue of May 13, 2018

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COA oks release of withheld incentives for City Hall staffs
by Rimaliza A. Opiña

The Commission on Audit set aside the notice of disallowance previously issued by the COA-Baguio concerning the release of P20,000 productivity enhancement incentives (PEI) for City Hall employees.

In 2014, COA-Baguio disallowed the city government’s issuance of the PEI citing a Department of Budget and Management circular, which states that PEI should not go beyond P5,000. Before the disallowance, the city government disburses to every employee (including department heads and elected officials) one-month salary plus P20,000.

The COA-Baguio said the City Hall PEI was excessive.

The PEI that was about to be released at the time amounted to over P30 million.

City government officials, who were issued notices of disallowance were Mayor Mauricio Domogan, who approved the payment; City Accountant Antonio Tabin, who certified the completeness and propriety of supporting documents; retired City Treasurer Alicia Onoza, who certified the availability of funds; Budget Officer Leticia Clemente, who certified the existence of available appropriation; the city council led by Vice Mayor Edison Bilog for passing the ordinance appropriating the PEI; and City Hall employees, who are payees of the PEI. 

Domogan appealed the notice of disallowance to the COA regional office but it upheld the decision of the COA-Baguio. The same was raised before the central office, recently.

In a decision dated Jan. 17 but was received only by concerned offices last April and May, the COA central office said local government units, through their respective sanggunian are authorized to grant PEI to their officials and employees at the rate depending on their financial capability subject to the Personal Services limit in their budgets and conditions imposed in the Local Government Code.

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