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Office of the President spent over P1B on salaries, benefits in 2018 – COA

MANILA, Philippines – A Commission on Audit report released on Saturday, June 29, showed the Office of the President (OP) paid over a billion pesos in salaries, allowances, bonuses, and benefits in 2018, a first for the highest government office.

State auditors said that based on Malacañang's 2018 financial statements, the OP recorded P1.029 billion in salaries and perks. The number is P199 million or 24% higher than the 2017 total of P829.66 million.

COA said the OP had a total of 2,035 employees in 2018. Of this number, only 519 held regular plantilla positions while 419 were non-plantilla, 298 co-terminus, 713 with contracts of service, and 89 consultants.

The P1.029-billion total was broken down as follows:

COA said salaries and wages accounted for the biggest increase year-on-year from P516.13 million to P679.82 million – up by P163.69 million or 31.71%.

Under allowances and bonuses, "other bonuses and allowances" totaled P109.88 million while "yearend bonuses" totaled P57.5 million.

Why the increase? State auditors attributed the increase in spending to the implementation of the 4th tranche of the Salary Standardization Law under Executive Order No. 201 series of 2016. There were also more contractual employees hired, COA said.

Aside from this, travel expenses also increased from P385.38 million in 2017 to P396.236 million in 2018.

Meanwhile, the following services saw decreased spending:

COA said the OP's MOOE was higher in 2017 as the Philippines hosted the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit. – Rappler.com