OFW remittances

COA to agencies: Return P2.3-B bonuses

Rappler.com
(UPDATED) The Governance Commission for GOCCs responds to the COA order

UNLAWFUL STIPENDS. File photo of COA Chairperson Grace Pulido-Tan. Photo by Rappler

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Commission on Audit (COA) told officials and employees from 31 government-owned-and-controlled corporations (GOCCs) to reimburse the government for P2.3 billion, the sum of unauthorized stipends paid to workers in those GOCCs in 2012.

The COA’s findings showed 31 GOCCs paid “bonus(es), allowances, and benefits to the board of directors and employees without or in excess of legal basis or proper authority.”

Aside from discontinuing those practices, the COA wants the GOCCs to reimburse the government for a total of P2,313,486,000.

According to the 2012 Annual Financial Report on GOCCs released by the COA in December, the following GOCCs were the 10 highest in terms of paying unlawful stipends:

  • Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PHIC or PhilHealth) – P1,651,084,000
  • Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) – P216,801,000
  • Region 7 Water Districts – P186,584,000
  • Phil. Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) – P54,829,000
  • Phil. Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) – P48,500,000
  • Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) – P37,636,000
  • Butuan City Water District – P28,243,000
  • Development Academy of the Philippines – P23,838,000
  • Phil. National Oil Co.–Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC) – P14,518,000
  • Mactan-Cebu Int’l Airport Authority (MCIAA) – P14,406,000

Another COA audit report from Oct 10, 2013 noted that the Philhealth governing board approved no less than 22 allowances and benefits for executives and personnel even without acquiring approval from the President’s office. Including regular salaries, allowances, bonuses, and other benefits, the “personal services” tallied for the year reached P2.825 billion, around P150 million higher than in 2011.

The COA said that, as of Dec 31, 2012, the PhilHealth had 5,919 personnel.

The DBP’s extra stipends came from a “performance incentive bonus” system that exceeded amounts authorized by the Governance Commission for GOCCs. P91.96 million of the P216.8 million the DBP has to reimburse is split among top officials, and the rest is split up among personnel in the home office and branches. The DBP has 2,537 employees, counting those within the central office, the bank’s 96 branches, and 4 subsidiaries.

The DBP’s personal services expenditures for 2012 exceeded authorized allocations by P224.228 million, reaching P2.501 billion.

On Wednesday, January 15, the Governance Commission for Government Owned or Controlled Corporations (GCG) took exception to the audit, saying it was a 4-month old report.

While finalized in October and released to the media only recently, the COA report was the latest overall report for GOCCs, as no audits of government agencies for 2013 have been completed or released by the agency before this.

Four months after the completion of the audit report, however, the GOCCs mentioned have not yet complied with the order.

The GCG added it “had actually reviewed the COA reports and discussed the findings with the GOCCs concerned,” excluding Local Water Districts and Economic Zone Authorities as they aren’t within the jurisdiction of the commission. Aside from 3 GOCCs, other GOCCs were not issued Notices of Disallowance.

Due to the release of the COA reports, the GCG said it has directed the GOCCs mentioned to submit a concrete response within 24 hours. The GCG will then issue the final responses of the GOCCs, as well as the Commission’s evaluation on the matter.

But while the GOCCs could seek relief from the Office of the President, the COA’s refund order remains that their allowances were not approved and no approval is forthcoming.

Aside from the 10 listed above, the following GOCCs were also noted by the COA:

  • Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) 
  • Batangas Land Company Inc. (BLCI)
  • Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP)
  • Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC)
  • Human Settlements Development Corp. (HSDC).
  • Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP)
  • Manila Gas Corp. (MGC)
  • National Dairy Authority (NDA)
  • National Development Company (NDC)
  • NDC-Phil. Infrastructure Corp. (NDC-PIC)
  • Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
  • Philippine International Convention Center Inc. (PICCI)
  • PNOC 
  • PNOC-Development and Management Corp. (PDMC)
  • PNOC-Alternative Fuel Corp. (PAFC)
  • Southern Utility Management and Services Inc. (SUMSI)
  • Trade Investment Development Corp. of the Phil. (TIDCorp) 
  • Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA)
  • Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP) 
  • Madrid Water District

Rappler.com