COA disallows P10-M in PCSO allowances

PCSO board members have made it to the list of the top 300 highest paid government executives

Rappler.com
Updated 10:27 PM, Feb 16, 2013

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) board of directors (BOD) must reimburse the government close to P10 million in unauthorized salaries and allowances paid them in year 2011.

In its latest audit report on the PCSO, the Commission on Audit said members of the board were paid a total of P5.507 million in total per diems. These covered board meetings, committee meetings and draw allowances (fee paid for attending the lottery draw).

Yet they still collected an additional P9.62 million to cover their “salaries; representation, transportation, educational assistance, sweepstakes and lotto draw allowances; revenue performance incentive; rice; COLA; hazard; staple food; bonuses; clothing; and other benefits.”

PCSO board members include chairman Margarita Juico, Mabel Mamba, Betty Nantes, Ma. Aleta Tolentino, and Joaquin Francisco III.

All 5 members made it to the list of the top 300 highest paid government executives. This was based on the 2011 Report on Salaries and Allowances of Cabinet secretaries, officials of government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) and state financial institutions. Juico was No. 135, with earnings of over P2.6 million.

PCSO General Manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas III made over P3 million in 2011, landing him the 94th spot among the highest paid executives.

COA said in its report, “Payment of salaries and allowances/benefits totaling P9.617 million to the five PCSO Board of Directors for CY 2011, in addition to their per diems and differential of per diems, was contrary to Executive Orders 19 and 24 dated December 30, 2010 and February 10, 2011, respectively.”

Disallowed in audit

EO No. 19 extended the suspension of the grant of allowances, bonuses, incentives and other perks to members of the board of directors, trustees of GOCCs and government financial institutions (GFIs), but allowed reasonable per diems, only until Jan 31, 2011.

EO No. 24 on the other hand says that the members of the BOD/BOT shall not be allowed to receive salaries, allowance, benefits, and other bonuses unless specifically authorized by law or Charter and approved by the President.

“In view of the effectivity of the suspension order and in the absence of approval from the Office of the President to receive the aforesaid compensation and benefits, the disbursements made therefore lacked legal basis, thus, cannot be allowed in audit,” the COA report said.

Auditors likewise noted that even the authorized per diems “were paid without the necessary supporting documents as evidence that they (Board members) actually attended the meetings/draws.”

“Only the acknowledgement receipt of the per diems was attached to the claim. There was no minutes of the meeting and agenda attached.”

“We recommended that the BOD refund the salaries and allowances/benefits received for CY 2011 totaling P9.617 million, otherwise the same will be disallowed in audit. We also recommended submission of supporting documents such as list of attendance with signature, minutes of meetings and other documents to prove that the BOD actually attended the meetings and draw proceedings,” COA said in its report. - Rappler.com

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