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Happy happy lang! COA hits excessive P54K bonus for Masbate gov’t workers

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State auditors hit as irregular and excessive the grant of P54,000 additional benefits to the regular employees of the provincial government of Masbate.

In a 2016 report, the Commission on Audit (COA) said the Sangguniang Panlalawigan in a 2015 session approved a resolution and appropriation ordinance for the realignment of P50,061,955 from personal savings of different offices for the payment of additional benefits amounting to P54,000 for each of 873 qualified officials and employees.

The auditors also noted that there was no payroll register attached, which was a requirement under an audit circular on the documentary requirements for common government transactions for general claims through the automated teller machine.

“Granting of additional benefits which are irregular and excessive maybe disallowed in audit,” the auditors said.

The COA urged acting Governor Vicente Homer Revil to exercise prudence in the use of local funds, and ensure that these are used reasonably and would not adversely affect the delivery of basic services.

The auditors were told by Governor Revil that the Local Government Code expressly states that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan as the legislative body of the province has the power to determine the positions and the salaries, wages, allowances and other benefits of officials and employees.

The auditor said while the local government unit enjoy fiscal autonomy to create their own sources of revenue and allocate resources, fiscal autonomy is not absolute for local government units, which as agents of the national government should not be above the national goal of standardizing salaries, allowances and other compensation for its employees.