Philhealth ordered to return P14M 'illegal' bonuses
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) last week upheld its auditors' findings that the P14 million bonuses given to employees of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp (Philhealth) were illegal.
The commission ordered Philhealth Region 12 employees and officials to return P14 million in unauthorized bonuses and allowances received in 2009 and 2010.
In its decision released last week, COA said the release of extra compensation violated existing rules.
According to Presidential Decree No. 1597, any amount paid out to personnel of a government-owned or controlled corporation (GOCC) that is not covered by the Salary Standardization Law required the approval of the Office of the President through the budget department.
The commission also noted that all heads of GOCCs are directed to stop granting salary increases by virtue of Memorandum Order No. 20.
In 2010, Philhealth's resident auditor issued notices of disallowance (NDs) against the following bonuses and allowances:
- P7.13 million "productivity incentive bonus"
- P6.71 million "Christmas package"
- P365,223 "medical and mission critical allowances"
- P157,982 medical and mission critical allowance for July to December 2009
The NDs were affirmed by COA's Region 12 Office in February 2011.
Philhealth filed a motion for reconsideration in March 2011, but COA chairperson Grace Pulido Tan and Commissioner Heidi Mendoza upheld the auditors' findings. – Rappler.com
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